FEARS that the locust plague from East Africa has blown over to Namibia has gripped farmers in the Zambezi Region after a swarm has devastated crop fields at the Mahundu Village near Katima Mulilo.
The locust outbreak currently plaguing East Africa has placed millions of people in a situation of extreme food insecurity and the governments of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, where widespread desert locust infestations occurred, has called on the international community for a concerted response as the dreaded insects devour millions of hectares of vegetation in their cross-border migration.
The desert locust, which can travel 150 kilometres in a single day, is deemed the most devastating of locusts. A small swarm covering one square kilometre can eat the same amount of food as 35 000 people in a day according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Swarms of the insects have invaded maize fields in the Zambezi Region and already left a trail of devastation and the infestation is set to get worse as the second generation of insects will be about eight times more than the initial swarm.
The swarm of locusts is currently plaguing only the residents of the Zambezi region but as it will regenerate into much bigger numbers, the swarms might spread further west to the two Kavango Regions and Otjozondjupa Region soon.
Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry in Windhoek have been dispatched to the Zambezi Region to assess the situation while the swarm continues on its track of devastation.