Threat from skies

A plague of desert locusts found their way to a farm in Ethiopia on Sunday, leaving farmer Ahmed Ibrahim, 30, desperately trying to fend off the swarm of insects.

Just last month, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the desert locusts have damaged about 70,000ha of land in Somalia and Ethiopia, threatening food supplies in both countries and the livelihoods of farming communities, Reuters reported.

The food agency said it was "the worst invasion in 25 years" and the infestation was likely to spread further.

According to the Reuters report, the locust plague is more serious than the FAO earlier projected and has been made worse by unseasonably heavy rainfall and floods across East Africa.

Experts say climate shocks are largely responsible for rapidly changing weather patterns in the region.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'Threat from skies'. Print Edition | Subscribe