World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Locust Swarms Multiply In West Africa

As Locust Swarms Multiply In West Africa, States Call For International Aid - UN

Desert locust swarms invading cropping areas in Mauritania, Senegal and Mali from Northwest Africa have multiplied in the past two weeks and several countries have appealed for urgent international aid to stop the situation from developing into a plague, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

With a very small fraction of the average swarm capable of eating as much food in one day as 2,500 people, nine countries are meeting today in Algiers to discuss regional locust control campaigns that are needed this summer. As good rains have fallen throughout the Sahel (sub-Sahara) region and ecological conditions are favourable, large-scale breeding will commence shortly, causing locust numbers to increase further in West Africa, FAO said in its latest update on the threat. But in Northwest Africa, where intensive control operations have been carried out since February, there are signs that the situation is improving.

No swarms have been reported in Chad or Darfur, Sudan, but the risk there remains high and there is a potential risk that swarms could also reach Burkina Faso, the agency warned. So far, $9 million of emergency aid has been pledged. FAO has contributed nearly $2 million from its own resources and donors $7 million.

Control campaigns in the Sahel are being hampered by a lack of available resources and the difficulty of locating and treating the highly mobile swarms. In 2004, control operations treated a total of 182,000 hectares in Mauritania and 900 hectares in Senegal. Intensive ground and aerial control operations continued in Northwest Africa where more than 5 million hectares have been treated so far this year. By mid July there had been a decline in the number of hectares treated in Morocco and Libya, suggesting that the situation is starting to get better in both countries and should become calm in the region over the next few weeks.

A desert locus swarms range from less than one square kilometre to hundreds of square kilometres in size. There are about 50 million locusts per square kilometres of medium-density swarm. The total number of locusts in a swarm varies from a few hundred million to several billion.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news