Second wave of locusts in East Africa feared 20 times worse than first invasion

21 April 2020

Second wave of young locusts now surging in East Africa is many times larger than first wave that hit at the beginning of 2020

The arrival of a second invasion of ravenous young locusts, spawned in Ethiopia, is feared to be 20 times more severe than first plague that devastated East African crops at the beginning of the year.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation stated that the locust infestation in Africa remains “extremely alarming” as more swarms are forming and maturing in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. The resurgence of the locust plague coincides with the planting season and presents an “unprecedented threat” to food security, according to the UN.

“The resurgence of the locust plague coincides with the planting season and presents an “unprecedented threat” to food security”
United Nations

The rainy season is providing ideal breeding conditions and swarms are predicted to hatch and stay in place. Further migration into Uganda and South Sudan is also likely by late June and July, when the next harvest is due. The second wave includes more young adults, which inherit gregarious behaviours from the previous generation and are particularly rapacious eaters.