The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Locust Invasion in East Africa:
The Capitalists Hoard the Solution

Mar 30, 2020

Translated from Le Pouvoir aux Travailleurs (Power to the Workers), the newspaper of UATCI, the Internationalist Communist African Workers’ Union, active among African workers in France.

Hundreds of billions of locusts invaded the Horn of Africa. They fly in gigantic swarms that devour all vegetation in their path. These locust clouds cover approximately 25 by 40 miles. Scientists say these insects can eat as much food as 80 million people.

Devastating swarms have already reached Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, and South Sudan. The locusts could prove catastrophic for South Sudan where 60% of the population is already threatened by hunger because of war and drought followed by floods. Adding to these calamities is imperialist looting and plunder which does not spare East Africa.

Huge quantities of fruits, vegetables, and flowers leave Kenya, Tanzania, and other countries every day en route to big wholesale markets all over Europe. Natural riches such as oil make the shareholders of big companies happy.

The U.N. says it is the “worst situation” in the Horn of Africa for a quarter of a century. There were six major locust invasions last century, most recently in 1987–1989. The U.N. estimates 70 million dollars will be needed to launch a cross-border campaign to deal with the most pressing damage. Combating this invasion in a sustainable way would require colossal means beyond the reach of the budgets of each of the concerned countries. Their government coffers may be empty, but the bank accounts of the leaders are often filled. It is no secret that these corrupt people cheerfully divert public money.

The means to combat this calamity exist. In this world, the capitalists hold the purse strings. They will only untie them when the exploited, who produce the wealth unite with the populations, who are victims of this disaster. They can force the capitalists and the authorities to provide the necessary means to fight against the locust invasion.