New Wave of Locust Invades Parts of Afar Region

ADDIS ABEBA – New swarms of desert locusts are threatening the livelihoods of people in Afar regional state despite a year of control efforts, the region’s agriculture bureau said on Wednesday.

Officials say the swarm of desert locusts has crossed into Ethiopia’s Afar region via Djibouti and Somalia.

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The bureau said swarms of locusts have been descending on grazing lands, posing threats to pastures in Afambo, Dubti and Asayta districts since the end of last week.

Mile, Chifra, Gulina and Teru districts are also embracing for another wave of infestation, according to the bureau.

All efforts are being exerted to tackle the invasion with support of both traditional and modern methods, Ayalew Shumet, locust prevention exert at the Bureau, told state-run news agency ENA.

The reappearance of the swarm, he said, has coincided with start of a farming season in the region, where locust invasion repeatedly occurred over the past two years.

Earlier this week, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in a regional update on the pests warns locust invasions could reach dangerous levels across the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya.

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