East Africa saw herself afflicted by locust swarms of Biblical proportions. Now the same swarms are back, but even bigger than before, with locusts numbering in the billions as is reported by the Associated Press.
Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years.
Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving. Billions of the young desert locusts are winging in from breeding grounds in Somalia in search of fresh vegetation springing up with seasonal rains.
Millions of already vulnerable people are at risk. And as they gather to try to combat the locusts, often in vain, they risk spreading the virus — a topic that comes a distant second for many in rural areas.
It is the locusts that “everyone is talking about,” said Yoweri Aboket, a farmer in Uganda. “Once they land in your garden they do total destruction. Some people will even tell you that the locusts are more destructive than the coronavirus. There are even some who don’t believe that the virus will reach here.” (source)
Locusts eat crops.
No crops means no food.
No food means starvation.
Starvation means social anxiety and more chaos.
Starvation and chaos are a classic formula for displacing populations.
Now add in the situation with COVID-19, and the nightmare is worse than ever before.
Prepare for another wave of migration to Europe as hungry people seek to flee from their countries.
Likewise, expect to see more rhetoric from European nationalist groups about ‘hordes of African invaders’.
It will be interesting to see what the international response will be, and especially from the European nations as this situation worsens.