Over the past year, a part of East Africa has experienced grasshopper “tsunamis” with unprecedented record numbers. Even in the past few months, many thousands of billions of grasshoppers “army” have attacked heavily in areas in Yemen, Pakistan and India. Farmers and authorities are concerned that the locust pandemic will damage crops, wreak havoc on the environment and affect food supplies, while everyone is struggling to cope with the Covid- 19 never know when to end.
Desert locust this year is the biggest and most deadly epidemic in decades in India. This year, grasshoppers appear 2-3 months earlier than usual, due to unseasonal rains that appeared late last year in countries of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
Below are photos from locust-hit areas raging in Kenya, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Yemen, taken in recent months.
Calculations by scientists show that a grasshopper can eat an amount of plants equal to its own body weight, ie from 5 to 10 grams. A herd of grasshoppers a day can consume the amount of food equivalent to the diet of 35,000 people.
A huge swarm of desert grasshoppers arrived in Kenya for weeks after invading about 70,000 hectares of land in Somalia. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has called it the “worst situation in 25 years” in the Horn of Africa. FAO warns that it poses an “unprecedented threat” to regional food and economic security.
A man chases a desert grasshopper in the bush near Enziu, Kitui, 200km east of the capital Nairobi, Kenya.
Soldiers of the Uganda People’s Defense Force prepare equipment to spray pesticides on crops in Katakwi, Uganda.
Soldiers have been deployed to help combat one of the region’s worst grassroots intrusions in decades.
Young desert wingless grasshoppers jumped into the air when a delegation from FAO approached them in the desert near Garowe, in the autonomous peninsula region of Somalia.
Hundreds of millions of desert grasshoppers have flooded Kenya from Somalia and Ethiopia – countries that have never recorded such numbers in the past 25 years.
According to figures released by the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, since early May, desert grasshoppers have devastated about 200,000 hectares of agricultural crops in India.
Farmers try to chase a herd of grasshoppers in a field on the outskirts of Sukkur in southern Sindh province, Pakistan, on July 1, 2020.
Grasshoppers clinging heavily on a tree in Quetta, Pakistan, on June 12, 2020. Pakistani officials say an outbreak of desert grasshoppers is spreading throughout the country, posing a threat to with food security.
Grasshoppers fly over a residential area in the southwestern city of Quetta in Pakistan on June 12, 2020.
A herd of locusts flies in a residential area in Hyderabad, southern Sindh province, Pakistan, on May 8, 2020.
Desert grasshoppers cling to a tree branch near the town of Lodwar, Turkana county, Kenya, on June 30, 2020.
A grasshopper-killing aircraft had to operate overnight in Samburu County, Kenya, on May 23, 2020.
Grasshoppers begin to fly around in the morning after perching on a tree overnight in Samburu county, Kenya on May 21, 2020.
Grasshoppers gather on the rooftop of a residential building in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on May 25, 2020.
A farmer picks up dead grasshoppers in his field at Badra Sonauti, a village on the outskirts of Allahabad, India, on June 10, 2020.
A resident tries to drive away grasshoppers from his mango tree in the residential area of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on May 25, 2020.
A man takes photos of grasshoppers flooding the residential area of Allahabad, India on June 11, 2020.
Grasshoppers perched in branches of Quetta city in southwestern Pakistan on June 12, 2020.
Grasshoppers fly over Quetta on June 26, 2020.
In Dhamar, Yemen, grasshoppers fluttered as they moved across the Arabian Peninsula on June 7, 2020.
Photo taken in the town of Lodwar, Turkana county, Kenya, on June 28, 2020.
A man chases a desert grasshopper early in the morning on May 21, 2020, in Samburu county, Kenya.