Locusts have returned to Mauritania.
Swarms of red locusts invaded the south-western Mauritanian region of Chemama, near the border with Senegal, AMI reported on Saturday (February 9th). The mayor of the town of Keur Macene, Yaghoub Ould Moussa, was quoted as saying that the locusts first appeared on Friday, causing panic among the local population. In recent years, Mauritania has recorded regular locust outbreaks that destroy crops and pastures. Several donors, including the World Bank, sponsor projects each year to support populations threatened by the pests. The insects caused devastating damage in 2004.
The last sentence is something of an understatement. The 2004 season saw the worst locust attacks in West Africa in 15 years, disrupting the region's crops and food supplies. That year's invasion was brought on by higher-than-average rains in both West and North Africa and helped along by inaction from the former government in Mauritania once the winged-insects arrived.
Here is a story on the attacks in Burkina Faso, which is when the photo was taken (by a friend.)