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Aerial chemical spraying to be carried out in prevention of locust swarm in Tigray, Afar Regions 

Afar _ Tigray _ Locust swarm
Locust swarm in North Ethiopia (file/ National Post)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, along with the Desert Locust Control Organization for East Africa (DLCO-EA) has announced that preparation is well under way to carry out aerial chemical spraying this weekend in Tigray and Afar Regions where locust swarms have occurred, the weekly Amharic Reporter said.

According to the chief executive officer of plant protection of the Ministry of Agriculture, Belaineh Nigussie, the pilots of DLCO-EA will do the aerial chemical spraying. Belaineh said that the pilots who flew from Kenya to Ethiopia on 15 August 2023 would go to Afar Region the next day to make preliminary preparations for the work. The pilots have obtained work permits from the Ethiopian Air Force, Belineh said.

Belaineh said that “currently the climate is favourable for the breeding of locust swarms”. The areas where the chemical will be sprayed have been identified through expert surveying, according to Belaineh. He further said that the aerial chemical spraying will cover mountainous areas, which cannot be reached by human power.

The Ministry of Agriculture is working in prevention and control of the migration of locusts in coordination with Tigray and Afar Regions, the head said, adding that his Ministry has assured the regions that they will be provided with anti-locust chemicals, spraying vehicles and expert support.

Getachew Reda, President of the Provisional Administration of Tigray Region said in a statement he made on 13 August 2023 that a task force was established at regional level to prevent the locust swarms. Getachew urged that the locust swarms should be prevented from harming crops and forests and the community should actively be involved in the preventive endeavours, according to Reporter.

Getachew said in his statement that all areas of Tigray Region have been invaded by the locust swarms, which are currently causing damage to crops and forests. Discussions have also been held with the federal government on the provision of chemical and aircraft support to prevent the swarm. 


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  1. I remember during the ‘good ole days’ of the 1950’s and 60’s when a Piper Cap duster comes on top of the areas surrounding the village I was born raining a cloud of DDT to kill the swarming locust. That place used to come early in the morning because the swarm was still on the trees and ground or late in the afternoon when in settles down. Inhabitants used to be told DDT was a double edged sword. It kills locust and the mosquito that carries the malaria pathogen. But the other health hazards were either not known or ignored by those who planned and ordered the spraying. You see, I may still have a residue of DDT in my system just like every member of the generation born before the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Accident has traces of radiation in his/her system. Remember all that rain of DDT did not land just on the locust only but it was all over the land including water wells and river beds. You can call that the DDT generation. Those were the ‘good ole days’ of DDT sniffing generation. Here in the developed nations there was widespread ‘pandemic’ of lead poisoning until the late 1970’s. But I have a different type of lead poisoning. The Zeppelin kind. I have been ‘Led’ poisoned since the 1970’s. I have to have my daily fix at least once a day!

  2. Make that: That plane used to come early in the morning because the swarm was still on the trees and ground or late in the afternoon when in settles down.


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