To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE


SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

Like a Page Out of the Bible: Locust Swarms 'as Big as Major Cities' Raid Africa, Threatening Millions of Lives

George Thomas : Feb 14, 2020  CBN News

"That swarm in one day can eat the same amount of food as everybody here in the tristate area—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York." -Keith Cressman, an expert with UN's Food and Agriculture Organization

(Kanchomba, Zambia) — [CBN News] One of the world's oldest and most destructive insects is wreaking havoc in Africa. (Image: Swarm of locusts /via Wikimedia Commons)

Hundreds of millions of locusts are eating their way through the continent, putting crops, food security and millions of lives at risk.

It's almost like a page out of the Bible's Old Testament book of Exodus. Authorities are calling it the worst outbreak in decades as billions of desert locusts swarm across a large part of East Africa.

"Today locust swarms are as big as major cities and this is getting worse by the day," warned Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations. "I ask the international community to respond with speed and generosity to ensure an effective response and control the infestation while we still have the chance.

Experts say the average swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts, travel 100 miles in a single day and grow as large as 250 football fields.

"That swarm in one day can eat the same amount of food as the entire population of Kenya," said Keith Cressman, an expert with UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). "That swarm in one day can eat the same amount of food as everybody here in the tristate area—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York."

Desperate farmers in rural eastern Kenya are using blankets and other clothing or beating on pots and pans—to chase away the hungry pests. But it's doing very little to stop them from devouring crops.

"We know that in Ethiopia there are about 420 square kilometers that have been affected so far," said Rosanne Marchesich, an emergency response team leader with the United Nations. "There has been extensive crop damage in those areas and as it moves to other parts of the country, we expect that the impact it will have on food security and agricultural livelihoods, both for the farmers and the pastoralists, can be significant," added Marchesich.

And now the UN is warning the swarms of the fast-breeding insects could grow more than 500 times between now and June.

"I'm seeing a big catastrophe ahead and a very big food security concern if we don't address this problem immediately," said a worried farmer in rural Kenya.

Caught in the path are some 19 million people, who've already dealt with severe food shortages. Now they face another looming catastrophe.

"The window to contain this crisis is closing fast," warned Qu Dongyu, FAO's director-general. "The swarms are highly mobile; the terrain often difficult; the logistical challenges immense. But left unchecked—and with expected additional rains—locust numbers in East Africa could increase 500 times by June."

The United Nations is sending urgent appeals while infected countries deploy thousands of troops and use planes to spray pesticides against the destructive bugs.

"It gives you a sense of the scale of the crisis we are facing and we need to address it immediately," said Dominique Burgeon with FAO.

The countries of Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are facing what experts say is the worst locust infestation in nearly 70 years. Earlier in the week, authorities spotted locust swarms crossing the border into Uganda and Tanzania. South Sudan is also at risk.

For local farmers further south in countries like Zambia, they are facing another crisis—the lack of water.

Two years of little to no rain and failed harvests have forced 28-year-old Consepter Hamalambo to abandon her cornfields again this year.

She's among some 2 million in this country facing food insecurity.

"I didn't harvest any crops last year or this year due to the drought which forced me to look for work elsewhere," Hamalambo told CBN News. "I've been going door-to-door asking people in my village for work just so I can buy some food."

World Vision, the Christian aid group, is distributing maize meal, drought-resistant maize seed, and cowpeas to families hardest hit by the drought.

"There's not enough water to generate electricity so businesses and companies have 15 hours, 16 hours of no electricity a day," Mark Kelly with World Vision Zambia told CBN News. "That also has an impact on people being able to earn money, that has an impact on being able to buy food."

While locusts haven't hit Zambia yet, farmers here worry the massive swarm sweeping across much of east Africa could fly further south bringing destruction to a region already reeling from extreme weather. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here







SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

'Breathtaking': Israeli Archaeologists Discover Canaanite Temple in Biblical City Destroyed by Joshua

Report: Iran Planning to Convert Tomb of Mordechai and Esther into a Palestinian Consulate

Arnold Schwarzenegger Thanks President Trump for Addressing California's Homelessness: 'There Are 60,000 Homeless in Los Angeles'

Trump Doesn't Mince Words after Obama Tries to Take Credit for Booming Economy; Here Are the Facts

This Christian Org is Spending Millions to Help Chinese Citizens Battling the Coronavirus

'Thank You For Praying': Priscilla Shirer Reports Lung Surgery Was Curative, Thankful for Continued Prayers

'Prayer Is Always the Foundation for Revival': Tennessee City Pastors Say Revival is Exploding among Various Churches, Shows 'God is Moving'

A Word and a Worship Video: 'God of Revival'

How America's Founding Fathers Who Loved the God of Liberty & Their Freedom Built the Freest of Free Nations

How to Pray for the President and Other Civil Leaders

'Gentlemen Start Your Engines!': Trump Only the 2nd President to Kick off the Daytona 500

500 US Christian Students Celebrate 'Life-Changing' Journey in Israel

PRAY: Rohingya Christian Refugees Abducted, Attacked in Bangladesh

HEALTH: Amazing Israeli Device That Clears Patients' Lungs to Help Coronavirus Sufferers in China

'I Still Believe' Becomes 1st Faith-Based Film to Air Nationally in IMAX; Watch the Trailer

'Thank You Jesus for Your Forgiveness': Justin Bieber Praises the Lord as New Album 'Changes' is Released

US Senate to Vote on Banning Late-term Abortion and Infanticide; Debates on Bills Begin

While Some Americans Pine for 'Medicare for All,' Canadians Look for US-style Private Insurance

In Pictures: Will Graham Encourages More Than 350 Canadian Church Leaders

Israeli Company Creating Water from Air Now Brings Water to Palestinians in Gaza



Search the Articles Archives

Keyword:  
Author:  
Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year



BCN Plus

An BCN Paid Advertisement
Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner


Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor


BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?
 
 
BCN Contact Info

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.

editor@breakingchristiannews.com