Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday has visited a desert locust infestation affected Were-babu Wereda in Amhara Regional State.

Ethiopia suffers worst locust infestation in 25 years as millions of locusts swarm croplands. Prime Minister Abiy urges for immediate action as large areas of crops in Ethiopia destroyed by locust swarm.  

Like most East African countries, Ethiopia is facing dual challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the desert locust influx spreading in five regions and a city administration.

“One of the biggest challenges we have experienced over the past months in addition to COVID-19 pandemic has been the desert locust swarm, which affected the Eastern African region greatly, including Ethiopia,” Prime Minister Abiy said.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the locust invasion in Ethiopia is the worst in 25 years.

It has damaged an estimated 200,000 hectares of land since January, threatening food supplies in the country.

Several efforts have been undertaken by the government over the past months to mitigate the impact of locust infestation, Abiy stated.

“Now as we are yet again confronted with a second round of invasion,” he said adding “various activities are being undertaken to control the swarm.”

The desert locust has destroyed more than 9,000 hectares of agricultural crops in Werebabu Wereda.

“I visited Debub Wello Zone, Werebabu Wereda today to see the damage and response measures. I have heard from the farmers on their immediate challenges and vowed that the government will support them,” Abiy said.

Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mokenen, Amhara Regional State Chife Administrator Temesgen Tiruneh and other senior government officials have also visited the area alongside Prime Minister Abiy.

The locust swarms have currently invaded areas in Amhara, Tigray, Afar, Oromia, Somali Regional States, and Dire Dawa City Administration ENA Reports.