East Africa, already starved by drought and flooding, is now experiencing the largest grasshopper heaters in a long time. A swarm can contain 150 million desert grasses per square kilometer and the largest ones are 2,400 square kilometers.
The mass presence means that the grasshoppers quickly eat crops. A swarm is estimated to eat plants equivalent to 35,000 people in a single day, according to The Guardian.
In Kenya, invasion of grasshoppers is the largest in 70 years, in Somalia and Ethiopia something similar has not happened in 25 years.
The UN believes that the situation is acute as East Africa already had a hard time. Periods of drought and flooding had already caused almost 20 million people to find food difficult. Now, the UN is proposing spraying insecticides from the air as the only way to stop the grasshoppers’ progress. An operation that is estimated to cost almost SEK 70 million.
News in Al-Jazeera about the grasshoppers: