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October 21, 2003


Tongue in cheek, I thought that I should make some biblical joke about a plague of locusts. I would ask what precisely the entire continent of Africa had done to so piss off God that He would heap this latest affliction on nations that, one would think, had suffered quite enough.

I didn't do this because:

  1. Someone would have taken me seriously, and I don't need people thinking that I blame God for pests. Don't lump me in with Pat Buchanan, I say.
  2. It isn't really a funny thing.

A good portion of Africa will already be relying on food donations to feed their citizens. It isn't particularly funny to think that more will starve because of locusts that could sweep through the continent, eating the few crops that have grown.

In northern Niger, locusts have been reported at a density of 20 hoppers per square metre.

"The number of locusts is increasing rapidly. They are beginning to concentrate themselves into groups characteristic of an outbreak," said the Locust Group.

"If the situation worsens this migratory pest may move northwards across northern Mauritania into Morocco, from Sudan towards the Red Sea and from Mali and Niger into Southern Algeria."
The UN organisation says a full-fledged desert locust plague has the potential of damaging the livelihood of a tenth of the world's population.

If it does become a full outbreak, we'll look into organizing food drives locally in conjunction with an organization that could deliver the needed food.

Stay tuned.

Read the story.

Thanks very much to our friend Naunihal Singh for alerting us to this story.

Posted by zombyboy at October 21, 2003 04:24 PM
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