Global Guest Blogging at its Best

Madagascar: The coup and the locusts

In Amelia Curzon blogs on November 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

sentinelblog

Tania Page, Last modified: 28 Oct 2013, aljazeera.com

There’s something biblical about swarms of locusts, something strange about writing “billions of locusts threatening millions of lives” – strange but true.

What’s even stranger is the connection between Madagascar’s coup in 2009 and the flying menace.

By some awful twist of fate, the coup coincided with the perfect weather conditions for locusts to swarm.

There was plenty for them to eat so they reproduced rapidly and, when their numbers reached a tipping point, they became what scientists call “gregarious” which basically means they grouped into huge, ravenous flying armies.

Madagascar does have a national monitoring centre.

But [and here’s the connection] when international donors cut off the purse strings following the coup, the government ran out of money for many basic services, let alone their locust experts. And now it’s paying the price as billions of locusts have been rampaging across…

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