Criminally unprepared

 
June 03, 2020

After the economic devastation caused by Covid-19, another disaster is in the offing. According to media reports and an FAO warning, a mammoth wave of desert locust is about to arrive in early July....

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After the economic devastation caused by Covid-19, another disaster is in the offing. According to media reports and an FAO warning, a mammoth wave of desert locust is about to arrive in early July. As is tradition in Pakistan, the government has been caught ill-prepared and their response is half-hearted at best. The PTI government has made no difference, nor is this the first time that the locusts have ravaged our crops. During the last two months the locusts have entered various parts of Sindh. Farmers have resorted to manual spraying of pesticides to keep the insects at bay. However, according to experts, the only viable way to mitigate the threat is aerial spray and for this the federal government must provide aircraft, along with other necessary resources.

If the federal government remains indifferent, particularly towards the Sindh government, as has been evident in their dealings on the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation may prove disastrous. If predictions of a larger wave of locusts in July proves true and the authorities are unprepared, then the food and economic security of the majority of Pakistanis, who either directly or indirectly depend on agriculture, will be in jeopardy.

Gulsher Panhwer

Johi



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