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Travel Advisory: Locust swarms in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia

A plague of locusts are currently sweeping through areas of Sudan, Ethiopia and Northern Kenya.


There can be up to 80m locusts packed into an area less than half a square mile. Swarms can cover large areas - over 450 square miles! These swarms can cover vast distances and cause devastating damage to crops and vegetation. Each locust can eat its own weight in vegetation every day so a swarm can consume nearly 200k mt of vegetation a day.


The consequences for crops and the livelihoods of farmers and pastrolists, can be devastating especially in arid areas leading to the total loss of an annual harvest. This can lead to widespread famine and an increase in wildlife / human conflict as wildlife also seeks food.


An aerial spraying program is being implemented to control the locusts but effectiveness is frustrated by the lack of finance, resources and the volatile security situation in areas of Somalia and Sudan which make safe access for spraying aircraft difficult.


So what?


Overlanders / Travellers moving through these areas should ensure they are carrying sufficient food and supplies to be entirely self sufficient. It is possible that the security situation in affected areas may deteriorate as communities struggle for access to food. In the longer term, widespread famine could follow. Choose campsites carefully to reduce the risk of food theft and do not leave vehicles unsecured or unattended in towns or villages.


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