KAMPALA : A supercomputer is boosting efforts in East Africa to control a lust outbreak that raises what the UN food agency calls ''an unprecedented threat'' to the region's food security.

The computer, a donation from Britain, uses satellite data to track locust swarms and predict their next destination.
Quickly sharing the information of the locusts' movements with regional authorities is key to controlling the outbreak, as even a small swarm of locusts in a single day can move nearly 100 miles and consume the amount of crops that would otherwise feed 35,000 people.

Based in a regional climate centre in Kenya, where the insects have been particularly destructive, the  supercomputer system produces extensive weather forecasts to predict the high winds, rainfall, and humidity that provide ideal breeding conditions for locusts so climate experts can predict their next destination, the UK's Department for International Development said in a statement.

Officials in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, where the supercomputer is based, said the technology will boost their efforts in tracking locust swarms.
The forecast is quiet useful because it helps them to focus their efforts in the areas that are most likely to be affected by the desert locust in the coming say, 10 days, said Abubakr Salih Babiker, a climate scientist at Nairobi's regional climate centre.

''It is a very innovative and new way of using technology to solve a real-life problem like the desert locust,'' he said [AP]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!