The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) discusses multiple threats of locust swarms, flooding and Covid-19

9 June 2020. The East African region is currently facing multiple threats of locust swarms, flooding and Covid-19 that are affecting the livelihoods and food security of millions of people.

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) spoke to James Kuria of the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) to find out more.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the current locust infestation is Kenya’s largest in 75 years, with swarms ranging up to several hundred km2 in size. With more than 70% of rural Kenyans relying on agriculture as their main source of income, the infestation is having devastating impacts on their livelihoods and psychological health. Coupled with record-breaking rainfall that has led to flooding and displaced around 500,000 people, and the Covid-19 pandemic that has severely reduced the transporting of goods, humanitarian agencies have stepped in to airlift food to households in need.

James Kuria from the EAGC discusses these challenges in more depth and how they are affecting the current planting season and food security in the region. He highlights the need for government, as well as farmers and the business community, to take climate change projections more seriously to be better equipped to respond to challenges like these in the future. Some climate scientists have warned that the floods, Lake Victoria levels and locusts can all be linked to climate change.

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