It is a widely understood fact that war can have several tragic ramifications. The toll on human life, along with the destruction of property can be immeasurable, to say nothing of creating an outpouring of refugees, desperately fleeing a war zone. However, if this was not unfortunate enough, it has been reported an overseas conflict could play a contributing role in the increase in an infestation of insects with potentially far-reaching consequences.
The United Nations has warned the country of Yemen, officially known as the Republic of Yemen, located in the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia, in the Middle East. Yemen reportedly has the distinction of having the largest population requiring humanitarian aid, numbering over 24 million people. The country now finds itself in the grip of war, impacting pest control solutions which could stop the build-up of a massive swarm of locusts in the next few months. The effects of which could be devastating.
When people think of locusts, they often recall the plague of Egypt, as recounted in the Book of Exodus in the Bible. Yemen today is at risk of a series of possibly catastrophic plagues of locusts, a class of short-horned grasshoppers from the Acrididae family. If their rate of reproduction is not controlled, locusts can travel in enormous swarms, with the ability to devour and destroy crop fields, trees and foliage over a huge land mass. This has the potential to deprive the people of Yemen of a valuable food source, just as they are facing starvation and trapped in a war zone.
Experts at the United Nations Food And Agricultural Organisation, or the FAO, have identified Yemen of being particularly at risk of Desert Locust due to the fact it is located by the Gulf of Aden coast and the Red Sea, where Locusts reproduce in the wintertime. It is felt swarms may continue multiplying in Yemen for the next couple of months.
Unfortunately, when it rains in the wintertime, it could see three generations reproducing way into the new year, each one increasing the number of locusts by up to twenty times, which experts are advising local people to try and get ready for.
The present infestation began early 2018 and certain measures have been imposed measures to stop the spread getting out of control. The situation currently has a yellow/threat warning status and is yet to be designated a red/danger level, where we have reached the worst possible outcome.
There is no doubt the people of Yemen are being denied vital resources in the field of pest control as the war ravages on. Ranging from having four-drive vehicles, alongside other important equipment which could be used to monitor and combat the swarm stolen or misplaced. This could only worsen the infestation, which can see a plague of locusts, and the devastation they bring, adding to the misery of millions of people dealing with conflict and starvation. The war in Yemen has touched people in many ways, but have we seen pest control become the latest casualty?