Swarms of desert locust spotted in parts of Ethiopia

NAIROBI, June 19, 2020 (Xinhua) -- A swarm of desert locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu)

Desert locust swarms have been detected in five regions and one city administration across Ethiopia, an official said Saturday.

Speaking at a press conference to state media outlets, State Minister for Ethiopia Government Communication Service Selamawit Kassa said desert locust swarms have been detected in Afar, Amhara, Somali, Tigray and Oromia regions as well as in Dire Dawa city administration.

The official said that a total of 25,000 hectares of crops have been affected by desert locust swarms so far, which is causing a drop in crop yields and damaging farmers’ livelihoods in affected areas.

A coordinated anti-pest control is being done with the popular participation of farmers to combat the desert locust swarms using both traditional and modern means including the use of aerial and vehicular spraying, Kassa said.

Termite swarms have also been detected in 317,000 hectares of land spread across 15 zones of Oromia, Afar and Tigray regions, the official said, adding that traditional and modern anti-pest measures are being conducted to deal with termite infestations.

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