Locust swarms across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Tanzania, and Uganda have now entered South Sudan, threatening crops and livelihoods of 25 million people. The locust outbreak in Kenya is the worst the country has faced in 70 years, while Somalia and Ethiopia are experiencing their worst swarms in 25 years.
The Tanzanian government has signed an agreement with two Egyptian companies to construct a hydroelectric dam along the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve. The reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is renowned for its animal populations and variety of wildlife habitats. Conservationists say the project would destroy the reserve, which is a tourist draw and source of revenue for the country. The dam is expected to produce 5,920 gigawatts of power annually. For the full story, see https://www.apnews.com/8ebd8e08c1814c73899a006286aa2dd9.
The Tanzanian parliament adopted a disaster assistance law in hopes of alleviating the country's increasing vulnerability to storms, floods, and droughts. The new legislation creates the Disaster Management Agency, which will stockpile supplies and have the authority to order evacuations. The agency will also have the power to halt movement of guns and alcohol into disaster areas, in an effort to reduce the surge in criminal activity that authorities say has accompanied recent disasters.
A seizure of more than 200 elephant tusks in Tanzania underscores a rise in poaching, officials say. The tusks combined were worth $1.32 million, and according to police the poachers were planning on transporting the ivory to Kenya. "This is the biggest seizure of elephant tusks in Dar es Salaam in recent history. The tusks were really big, which means that they were carefully picked for certain customers," said the regional police commander.