The AfDB (The African Development Bank) has approved a $1.5 million emergency relief grant to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) towards fighting off the locusts invasion in East Africa.
IGAD, together with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), are looking to provide locust invasion control, safeguard of livelihoods and to promote early recovery of affected households in the East and Horn of Africa.
The funds, distributed to Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, will be used to do the following:
- Control spread of the current invasion
- Prevent potential next-generation swarms
- Conduct impact assessment and monitoring in order to enhance preparedness and awareness
The IGAD warns that the infestation poses an unprecedented risk to livelihoods and food security in an already fragile region and has caused massive damage to agricultural production.
According to recent FAO reports, more than 80% of 1,700 agro-pastoral farms located in 23 production zones in Djibouti have been affected by desert locust infestations. In Kenya, at least 18 of 47 counties have been affected, with more than 70,000 hectares of crops under infestation.
The desert locust is considered the most dangerous migratory pest in the world. The current upsurge, which started in 2019, is the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and Somalia, and the worst in 70 years in Kenya.