In Madagascar’s capital city, skies are darkened by a plague of locusts

The Extinction Protocol

August 2014 MADAGACAR – A quick glance at the sky today in Antananarivo, Madagascar, reveals a massive storm cloud rolling through. On second look, though, it becomes clear that it’s no nimbus cloud but a seemingly endless stream of locusts flying low through the city’s already polluted skies. Locust plagues have damaged Madagascar’s farmland for the past three years, as in the biblical story, prompting the government in November 2012 to declare a national emergency and allow the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to launch a pesticide campaign in September 2013. With 1.2 million hectares treated with pesticides, the problem is under better control now.  But a recent heat wave in the Central Highlands region brought new hordes of locusts to the capital city, where they disrupt daily life for the urban enclave’s some 2 million residents. This year, the large, flying insects were mainly isolated…

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