Eritrea says it effectively contained new desert locust invasion in coastal region

Gregarious locusts congregate on some ground vegetation at Larisoro village near Archers Post, on January 21, 2020. - The outbreak of desert locusts, considered the most dangerous locust species, is significant and extremely dangerous warned the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation ,Monday, describing the infestation as an eminent threat to food security in months to come if control measures are not taken (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP) (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

The Eritrean government on Thursday disclosed that it has successfully contained a new desert locust invasion that swarmed in excess of 400-hectares-of-land in the country’s Northern Red Sea region.

“A new desert locust invasion that appeared on Feb. 21, and covered around 400 hectares of land in the Northern Red Sea Region was put under control, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture experts, the military in the area and regional administration staff,” the Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) disclosed in a statement issued Thursday.

Amid the Eritrean government’s ongoing measures to contend the adverse impacts of the desert locust outbreak that wreaked havoc across the Horn of Africa threatening food security, the MoA also revealed that the Red Sea nation has treated more than 57,000 hectares of land that was infested with desert locusts as of the beginning of March.

According to the ministry, a new mature adult locust swarm that appeared in the same region on Feb. 29 and covered around 200 hectares of land has been also put under control as of March 3 with the use of four sprayer-mounted vehicles.

As part of the Eritrean government’s concerted efforts to contained the desert locust invasion, the country has dispatched about 11,078 farmers and military personnel as well as 110 experts, it was noted.

The ministry, which noted that the latest operations against the desert locust infestation are part of the ongoing locust control measures that started back in July 2019, also affirmed the readiness of experts to control possible desert locust swarms that might come in the near future.

According to the latest figures from the Eritrean Migratory Pests Control Unit, more than 57,000 hectares of land that was infested with the desert locust swarms has been treated as of Feb. 29 across Eritrean regions, which include the country’s Northern Red Sea, Southern Red Sea, as well as the Debub regions.

“Even though with very limited resources, extraordinary commitment of the government, experts, the military and the general public has saved Eritrea’s crops and rangelands,” an Eritrean Ministry of Agriculture statement read.

The desert locust, which is considered as the most dangerous of the nearly one dozen species of locusts, is a major food security peril in desert areas across 20 countries, stretching from west Africa all the way to India, covering nearly 16 million square kilometers, according to the United Nations.