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Locusts trigger diversion of Ethiopian flight from Dire Dawa to Addis

Ethiopia

<p>A swarm of locusts forced an Ethiopian Airlines passenger flight to divert to the capital Addis Ababa instead of a scheduled landing in the chartered city of Dire Dawa in eastern Ethiopia.</p> <p>An airline spokesman confirmed the incident which happened last Thursday (January 9) to the <span class="caps">BBC</span> without giving further details. Dire Dawa to the capital is about half-an-hour journey. The plane was on what is normally an hour-long journey from Djibouti to Dire Dawa, the <span class="caps">BBC</span> report added.</p> <p>The decision to divert to Addis Ababa was due to reduced visibility despite efforts by the pilots to clean the windscreens upon impact with the locusts. </p> <p>Multiple local news and aviation-focused websites also reported about the incident involving the Boeing 737-700. One very prominent photo shows the plane “painted” with what appears to be dead locusts.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="ca" dir="ltr">B737-700 Ethiopian Airlines, ET-<span class="caps">ALN</span>, impacta con bandada de langostas durante la aproximación en Dire Dawa, Etiopia. <a href="https://t.co/YfSXTEkGxe">pic.twitter.com/YfSXTEkGxe</a></p>— AereoMeteo (@MeteoAero) <a href="https://twitter.com/MeteoAero/status/1216741639504519168?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 13, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <h2 style="font-size:16px;"> East Africa’s locust invasion </h2> <p>After going through Somalia and Ethiopia, a large swarm of locust have now reached Kenya. The pests have left a a trail of devastation that is causing worries of food security in the region.</p> <p>Mwangi Kiunjuri, Kenyan Minister of Agriculture said of the development: “We recognize that the pest invasion and its potential for rapid spread to other countries poses an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the country.”</p> <p>The government is spraying pesticide in the affected areas to battle the insects. The minister said the migratory nature of the locusts made it even more difficult to deal with.</p> <p>“The fight against this invasion is not without challenges, first of all they are transboundary pests that need to be tackled through a regional strategy to ensure that they are attacked from their resting habitats. </p> <p>“Unfortunately, due to insecurity in some of our neighbouring countries, it has been difficult to control and prevent their migration,” he added.</p> <p>In December, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reported that about 70,000 hectares of land had been infested in Ethiopia and Somalia. </p> <p>Currently, South Sudan and Uganda are being called on to be vigilant. The two countries are the next potential targets of these insects.</p>

The fight against this invasion is not without challenges, first of all they are transboundary pests that need to be tackled through a regional strategy to ensure that they are attacked from their resting habitats.

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