Locusts strike Somalia again

Locusts strike Somalia again  Authorities in Somalia's self-declared autonomous region of Puntland in the northeast have appealed for international aid following the destruction of thousands of hectares of pasture and farmland by a locust infestation.

"We issued an appeal for help on September 23; Puntland alone cannot deal with this,' Hassan Arab, the deputy minister of rangeland and forestry, told the un's Integrated Regional Information Networks. "This time the swarms are bigger and more destructive than the ones we had in June. They have also spread to a wider area,' he said.

Locusts have severely affected nomads and small farmers. "The swarms are either local infestations or have come from Yemen, where the desert locust bred in April,' said Andrew Harberd, emergency coordinator for the un Food and Agriculture Organization in Somalia.