Locusts threaten drought-hit Afghanistan : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Locusts threaten drought-hit Afghanistan

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Millions of locusts are threatening a vast area of northern Afghanistan and urgent aid is needed to prevent them spreading to neighboring countries, Afghan officials warned on Tuesday. Sahibdad Pakbeen, a senior official with the agriculture ministry, said millions of locust larvae were scattered over seven provinces, the major fruit and cereal-producing region of the drought-hit country.

He said the ruling Taliban had asked the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to help it tackle the problem, which has added to the woes of a country battered by over 20 years of conflict and a harsh drought for the past two years.

"There is no doubt the drought has forced the locusts to move from mountains and deserts to converge on agricultural sites. They have not yet been able to fly and when they do so this will be a global calamity," he told reporters.

Pakbeen said local authorities and ministry experts were trying with meagre resources to eradicate the locusts before they begin swarming farms and if not dealt with quickly around 30 percent of crops could be lost this year.

"The joint good offices of all countries is needed, particularly of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, to stop this. There is the probability the locusts will spread and then control will be difficult and it will become a regional problem," he said.

A locust outbreak 40 years ago destroyed most farms in Afghanistan.

Tens of thousands of people have been forced to migrate inside Afghanistan or to neighboring countries because of the current drought, the worst in 30 years.

Much of their livestock has been lost and hundreds of people have died. The United Nations has appealed for around $76 million dollars to help some 12 million people.

-- Martin Thompson (, April 14, 2001


john the baptist fared quite well on locusts and honey... we are a species sustained by protein and to try to eradicate them (locusts) by any other means than natural would be adding multiple problems in an already ecologically strained environment sincerely, dww

-- dwwright (, April 20, 2002.

For all the Hell afganistan has dealt to the world, I think I speak for every american, jew and all the families of the victims of the september 11th attack, when I say they have brought it on themselves and what went around is coming back on them. I don't wish famine or plague on any nation but for them to ask or plead for help from any nation is nothing short of mind-boggling. They need to tough it out and if they survive, good for them. If not, ohh well. One less terroristic haven for everyone to worry about.

In short, they can rott in hell. Chris in Houston, TX

-- Chris (, April 24, 2002.

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