Morocco & Locusts

In Marrakech you occasionally see the odd locust. It's usually munching on some remote vegetation. We have not known huge plagues to come to Marrakech. But for the Moroccan nation locusts are a bit of an issue. Morocco is an agricultural nation and has huge expanses of tasty crops.

This year the yield has been poor due to the particularly dry summer so the crops that have survived are particularly valuable. However, the United Nations have warned about plagues of locusts that are gathering in Niger, Chad and Mali and they have warned that the locusts are on their way to Southern Morocco and neighboring countries.

On the face of it this doesn't sound very significant until the statistics are revealed. A very small swarm can eat as much as 35,000 people in one day and a swarm can travel, with the wind, up to 150km in a single day. This is unlikely to affect Marrakech but for the Berber population who are dependent upon grain to feed their herds this is a disaster.

Morocco really is a beautiful country and in many ways these circumstances inform the people and the culture but life for some here is difficult enough without millions of hungry mouths landing on valuable pasture. Hopefully the UN, supported by money from France, the United States, and the United Kingdom, will manage to control the swarms before they take flight.

Riad Al-Bushra Home Page


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