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The Locust Plague of East Africa


An article titled ‘A plague of locusts has descended on East Africa. Climate change may be to blame’ by Madeleine Stone in the National Geographic that discusses the relationship between the 2019-20 desert locust swarms in East Africa and climate change. The article focuses on how rising sea surface temperatures, storms and cyclones, changing ocean circulation patterns caused by human activity may have triggered this trans-oceanic disaster and destruction of food supply.

Students will learn about how climate change triggered the mass migration of the desert locusts over East Africa. They will also learn about the unseasonal cyclones and storms that led to unusual locust breeding that resulted in the widespread destruction of crops and disrupted the food chain in East Africa.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What are desert locusts?
  2. Is climate change responsible for the current locust outbreak in East Africa? Discuss.
  3. How is the locust plague causing food insecurity in some countries?
About Tool
Tool Name A plague of locusts has descended on East Africa. Climate change may be to blame
Discipline Environmental Sciences, Social Sciences, Agricultural Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Disasters and Hazards, Locust Plague, Desert Locust, Food Security, Species Migration, Agriculture
Climate Topic Climate and Food Security
Type of tool Reading
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Africa, East Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Madeleine Stone
Hosted at National Geographic
Access Online/Offline
Computer Skills Basic

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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