Desert locust swarms have destroyed crops in major agricultural areas in southern Angola, raising fears of severe food insecurity as the country is also experiencing drought.
At the weekend, the swarms invaded fields in Namibe Province, in southwestern Angola. They have also destroyed crops in Benguela, Cunene and Cuando Cubango provinces.
Mr Carla Tavares, Namibe province deputy, called for assistance in finding a solution to the locust invasion.
The wave of locusts plaguing the south of the country has destroyed 547 farms, said Félix Domingos, the Communication and Press Office director of the Civil Protection and Firefighting Services.
Mr Domingos on Tuesday told a press conference that, “The plague put at risk cereals production which could lead to hunger in the region.”
“To contain the wave of locusts, the National Air Force, with the support of the Civil Protection and Fire Service, is spraying the fields and training peasants who fight the locusts.
“14,000 families in Namibe, Cunene and Huila provinces received food aid to minimize the drought and hunger problem.”
The World Food Programme (WFP) said in March that Angola could face food shortage this year following months of drought in the southwestern provinces.
The country has been experiencing episodes of drought since December last year with below-average rainfall in the provinces of Cuanza Sul, Benguela, Huambo, Namibe and Huíla, the WFP said.
“The situation is not expected to improve in the coming months in the absence of above average rainfall.”