Ethiopia

All-round Efforts Underway to Minimize Destruction by Desert Locust

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Addis Ababa October 19/2020 (ENA) PM Abiy Ahmed said comprehensive efforts have been exerted to minimize the widespread devastation caused by desert locust in parts of Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, Afar, and Somali regional states.

Speaking at the House of People’s Representatives today, the prime minister pointed out that 420,000 hectares of land have been devastated by the desert locust infestations in 240 Woredas.

Though the Ministry of Agriculture managed to control in the first wave of a locust swarm, the current stage five desert locust that originated from the Red Sea has been causing serious damage.

Tremendous activities are underway to prevent the current locusts from spreading to more agriculturally productive areas, the premier noted.

Efforts to bring in helicopters and aircraft have continued, he said, adding that assembling parts of helicopters aircraft sprayers after they arrive here is, however, time-consuming and delayed intervention.

In order to solve the problem in a sustainable way, Ethiopian Airlines is working to strengthen its capacity to use small aircraft, Abiy said.

Even if the premier did not underestimate the damage caused by desert locusts, he estimated that its impact on the country’s agricultural production is less than 5 percent as the country has planned to harvest 35 million quintals this season.

Abiy stressed the need for strengthening the green legacy in the face of natural disasters such as floods, COVID-19, and desert locusts.