Chadian farmers are now threatened by a plague of locusts that has already destroyed crops in Mali, Mauritania and Niger. If the locusts are not controlled, people and livestock may face starvation throughout the Sahel, and the affected countries lack both pesticides and the infrastructure to deploy them:
Mali has so far raised only one third of the US$3 million requested from donors to step up locust control measures.
“To date, we have been invaded by 63 swarms, but we only have a third of the resources we need to treat the area of nearly 650,000 hectares that is currently infested”, Brahima Koni, the deputy coordinator of Mali's locust control campaign, told IRIN by telephone from Bamako.
So far, he added, Mali only has 18 spray teams deployed on the ground.
Thus far, the majority of aid has come not from wealthy donor countries but from the Maghrebi states, which recently battled locust infestations and have delivered pesticides and crop dusting planes to the affected area. Morocco has been particularly speedy in delivering assistance. More money is on its way from the donor community, but United Nations officials estimate that "it takes about a month to get the goods on the ground" once the funds are approved. In the meantime, the food situation in the Sahel may become critical. [my emphasis]
So where are the Christo-Fascists in the U.S. government? Swarms of locusts? Genocide? By golly, this is a Biblical Event! All we need is a plague. This would be the perfect opportunity for them to show how Bush was doing 'God's work'. Oh yeah, silly me, all of our armed forces and treasure are being squandered in Iraq.