Irish Examiner View: Swarms devour crops - Plague of locusts

Irish Examiner View: Swarms devour crops - Plague of locusts

The worst outbreak of desert locusts in decades is currently underway in the Horn of Africa. It is the biggest of its kind in 25 years for Ethiopia and Somalia – and the worst Kenya has seen for 70 years. Pakistan is also affected.

The potential catastrophe is of biblical proportions, redolent of the Book of Exodus in the Bible, in which God sends a plague of locusts to the pharaoh of Egypt as retribution for refusing to free the enslaved Jews.

Locusts also appear in the New Testament in the apocalyptic Book of Revelation.

Massive swarms of locusts are devouring entire fields of crops in as little as 30 seconds and fuelling fears of a major food crisis in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The UN has estimated that the locust swarms will grow up to 500 times their current size by June if sufficient measures to tackle them are not taken soon.

Concern's Country Director for Kenya, Amina Abdulla, has said swarms of locusts, over 40km wide, are now affecting around 12 counties.

The Irish aid agency is doing what it can to alleviate alarming food shortages. It deserves our support.

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