Published in dunya blogs: http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/25576/
Karachi, which is the main hub of exports, transportation and a major city of Pakistan is now under the attack of locusts. Swarms of locusts can be seen flying everywhere. What are Locusts? Locusts are invertebrates which happen to be very tiny, as tiny as a hairpin or paperpin, but they travel in huge groups or “swarms” destroying crops and becoming the reason for famines and starvation. They look like grasshoppers and are considered harmless.
Locusts have reached almost every major part of the city. Malir, bahandarabad, Shahwar-e-Faisal, Clifton and ghareebabad. No one is safe from locusts. Videos of locusts flying outside everywhere like flies are emerging on social media. People are making videos of locusts flying outside their windows while at the same time shutting all doors and windows for their safety and for the safety and well being of their children.
Any concerned citizen of Karachi would expect the government to play a role and solve this problem but here the government officials joke that people, instead of worrying about locusts, should eat “locust karahi” and “locust biryani.” The people who make these kinds of statements are unaware of the fact that planes cannot fly when a locust infestation is going on, causing loss of billions of rupees to commercial airlines and the airline industry, delaying flights and delaying taking off and landing due to locusts on the runway is a major problem, delaying scheduled cricket matches, games and outdoor activities, affecting the daily activities such as driving, walking and affecting the food, fruits and vegetables which is sold on the street. All the food which is bought and sold openly on the streets is very likely to get contaminated and badly affected by Locusts. The biggest loss is to the poor farmer who worked day and night just to have his crop field ruined by locusts. The fields have already been destroyed by locusts in Lyari. Sindh is the second biggest producer of cotton, which is one of the chief exports of Pakistan. With crops and fields ruined, it is most likely that exports will also decrease hence affecting the economy of Pakistan.
Karachi has already been through a lot of trouble with its citizens constantly suffering. First, it was flooding caused by rain, with smelly and dirty rain water everywhere, flies and bugs came bringing with them typhoid and dengue, which caused a lot of deaths and every day in Pakistan people are dying from dengue. Second, this city was badly affected by this deadly disease. The only cure from this was prevention such as buying mosquito nets and bug sprays, and now the city is under the wrath of locusts. Maybe the Sindh government should keep in mind that this is not such a minor problem that can be joked about. Karachi has constantly been under horrible conditions and it’s citizens have suffered from them in the form of terrible diseases and deaths.
Apart from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and several parts of Africa have also gotten affected from locusts.
The main reason for these locusts is poor sanitation and poor city planning, during the rainy season, the moist and favourable environment enables them to live and grow in sewers and pipelines. Hence, after it is over they come out and cause destruction to crops. Although they do not harm humans or even animals, nor do they carry any dangerous diseases with them, still the constant flying of such bugs in massive numbers hinder daily life activities and cause disturbance. Let’s hope that some action is taken quickly to control this locust infestation other than using them as a delicacy.