Locust invasion: UN warning for Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea and Sudan

The UN has said that if an Ethiopian locust infestation is not brought under control then the crop-devouring insect could “invade” neighbouring countries.

The Ethiopian government has called for “immediate action” to deal with the problem affecting four of the country’s nine states, a UN statement said.

In northern Amhara state some farmers have lost “nearly 100%” of their crop of the staple grain, teff , it added.

Efforts to control the infestation have so far not been effective.

The authorities’ work has also been affected by “ongoing insecurity” in some areas of the country, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

“We need to act fast and mobilise the required resources urgently to scale up control and preventive measures,” FAO Ethiopia representative Fatouma Seid said.

Last week, the government said it had sent planes to the affected areas to try to deal with the problem from the air.

Image copyrightFAOMan spraying area with locusts
Image captionThe control measures in place have failed to stop the locusts spreading

Overall, the desert locusts have devoured crops and pasture across a swathe of land covering parts of the Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Somali regional states.

The FAO estimated that the insects were eating 1.8 million tonnes of vegetation a day across 350 sq km (135 sq miles) of the country.

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If additional control measures fail then the locusts “could continue moving within Ethiopia and invade” north-eastern Kenya, parts of Eritrea, and Sudan’s southern coast, the FAO said.

The locusts are thought to have spread from Yemen three months ago.

UNLIKELY PARTNERSHIP.

Nature is a real mystery.


Screech owls keep blind snakes as live-in housekeepers. An owl inviting a snake to live in the nest with its babies may sound like the plot of a kids’ movie, but nature is full of unlikely partnerships, and in Texas, screech owls do have a habit of bringing tiny blind snakes home with them.

WORLD’S SMALLEST CAMERA MAKES IT INTO GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS.

This one will make your goose bumps have goose bumps.

OmniVision OV6948 is world's smallest camera
Spot the camera!
(Image credit: OmniVision)

A specialist medical camera that measures just 0.65 x 0.65 x 1.158mm has just entered the Guinness Book of Records. The size of the grain of sand, it is the camera’s tiny sensor that is actually being entered into the record book.

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The OmniVision OV6948 is just 0.575 x 0.575 x 0.232mm and produces a 40,000-pixel color image using an RGB Bayer back-side-illuminated chip. Each photosite measures just 1.75 µm across.

The resolution may seem low, but the OVM6948-RALA camera is designed to fit down the smallest of veins in the human body giving surgeons views that will aid diagnosis and with surgical procedures. Previously the surgeon would carry out these operations blind, or use a much lower-resolution fibre optic feed.

Manufactured by California-based OmniVision Technologies Inc, the sensor captures its imagery at 30fps, and its analog output can be transmitted over distances of up to 4m with minimal noise. The camera unit offers a 120° super-wide angle of view – so something like a 14mm on a full-frame camera. It gives a depth of field range from 3mm to 30mm.

The sub-minature camera is designed to be disposable and is used with guidewires, catheters and endoscopes

The sub-minature camera is designed to be disposable and is used with guidewires, catheters and endoscopes

(Image credit: OmniVision)

These comparatively high-resolution images are said to be particularly useful in areas such as neurology, ophthalmology, ENT, cardiology, spinal injuries, urology, gynecology and arthroscopy. The low-power consumption of the camera means that less heat is generated, which allows for longer procedure duration and better patient comfort.

HOLY MARY APPEARS IN THE SKIES OF AFRICA.

The controversial video has been circulating about how virgin Mary Mother of Jesus Christ appeared in the skies of Africa.

Credibility of any story shrinks significantly if the same story is aired in different versions. Truth has just a single version).

There are several sightings with similar upload. Kaduna Nigeria, subukia Kenya, ruaka etc.

On a phone call interview to the Shrine’s director, Father James Wanzala, we were informed that they did not receive any news of the sighting on the said day.

“We had a Catholic Men Association gathering over the weekend and there were many people here. There was however no sighting or reports of a sighting,” Father James said.

Asked if he had seen the video doing the rounds, the Father James chuckled to the affirmative.

“Yes. I have seen the video and I can assure you that it did not happen in this shrine. I even doubt it is from Kenya,” he adds.

Were there any sighting reported to them from Subukia on other occasions?

“There have been various versions of sightings on the Subukia Shrine hill, where there is the statue of Mary, but I have not personally experienced it,” the Father concludes.

So what is the video all about?

Turns out that the video is not a recent recording. It has been doing rounds on the internet for over 3 years.

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