The world is facing a host of challenges since the beginning of 2020. COVID-19 presented its demonic appearance throughout the world. The consequences will be grave if nothing is done. While the entire nation is struggling to tide over the difficulty, the next attack made its presence through the atmosphere. If we’re fighting a war against an invisible enemy that is COVID-19 earlier (fight still continues), it is now a war against a visible army of “Desert Locusts”.
Migrating from Somalia and Ethiopia through Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the ‘desert locusts’ found its entry into Rajasthan and Gujarat. They cause severe damage to the crops and trees in the areas. It is something that has been happening for years. Usually it will begin in July and the trend will continue for a few months. This year it has started in April itself. Farmers remain frightened. Administrators everywhere upto their ears in meeting the challenges of COVID-19 not just failed to set their ears to the ground but closed their ears too.
Result : The desert locusts have crossed the borders of Rajasthan and Gujarat now. These locusts do not migrate in small numbers ( of 10s or 100s or even 1000s ) but in ‘crores’. One single group of army will have even 1000 crore locusts. They can travel atleast 150 km per day. In favorable wind conditions they can go over a very long distance at speeds of 200 km per day. A fully grown locust will consume its equivalent weight of food per day, ie. about 2 grams. They can destroy food that 35000 humans can live with.
The present Swarm of locusts has not been seen in the last 30 years. Farmers in North India specially are deeply and adversely affected by this danger which holds the potential to alter their behaviors in these circumstances.
Neighbouring States and even States that remain a long distance away cannot remain complacent. Significant to note is the fact that in Nilgiris (Tamil nadu) desert locusts have already been spotted. The usual tendency is to mistake them for the local ones.
Without repeating the mistakes of COVID-19 containment, all authorities concerned (local, state, and regional) should be willing to plan extreme or even surprising limits in dealing with these cases.
“Threat of widespread Famine is perhaps real “.
” Dieu avec nous “
Sunday, May 31, 2020 – 5.49 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” They that die by famine die by inches “.