In February urgent warnings were issued of imminent locust swarms affecting particularly the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned that
“Good rains along the Red Sea coastal plains in Eritrea and Sudan have allowed two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms”.
A swarm of around forty million locusts will eat the same amount of food in a day as about 35,000 people. This can result in crop losses of 80 to 100 per cent, destroying individual livelihoods and threatening national food supplies.
Locust swarms are referred to a number of times in scripture, notably in Egypt prior to the Exodus. The record says:
“They covered the face of the whole land, so that the land was darkened, and they ate all the plants in the land and all the fruit of the trees that the hail had left. Not a green thing remained, neither tree nor plant of the field, through all the land of Egypt” (Exodus 10:15, ESV).
We are reminded that with all man’s technological progress, natural disasters of this kind can still provide a serious, even devastating challenge.
With thanks to Brother Roger Long