As swarms of locust devour Egypt’s crops, many of the country’s residents have taken to the social networking site Twitter to voice their wonderment on whether the past week’s event was the “Muslim Brotherhood curse.”
“Is this ‘the good’ the Muslim Brotherhood promised to bring us?” Tweeps asked, many saying they were frustrated with the government’s performance to deal with the situation.
Egypt has been struggling with its deteriorating political and economic situations since the people’s revolution against Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and locusts descending on the country could seriously threaten Egypt’s agricultural sect if not dealt with swiftly.
According to Egyptian Agricultural Minister Salah Abad Almoman, the swarm – which descended on Giza, near southern Cairo – comprised an estimated 30 million insects.
“The armed forces and the Egyptian border units are trying to battle the swarm with various means at their disposal,” Almoman said, according to a local media reports.
Angry with the country’s deteriorating situation, Egyptian opposition blocs have called for the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi – affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Locusts came to Egypt looking for something to eat but felt sorry for us when they saw our situation,” said one Twitter user, Ahmed Maher.
“People are dying, blood is spilled on streets, children are dying on train [accidents], and the government did not resign. Do you expect them to resign now for a bunch of locusts?” another Tweep commented.
In attempt to contain the infestation and stop it from further spreading, residents of the infected areas on Saturday night started burning tires, reported Egyptian daily Al-Ahram.
Where is the government?
Karam Saber, lawyer at Egypt’s Land Center for Human Rights, slammed the Egyptian government for not responding swiftly to the situation, saying the there was no good management.
“It’s an easy procedure, and the country should be prepared for it. Tools to combat locusts are developed on a yearly basis,” he told Al Arabiya. “The weakness of Egypt’s government reflected on the Ministry of Agriculture and resulted in what we see today.”
Saber said this was the first time in three years locusts reach the Egyptian capital.
Egypt in October expects the seasonal migration of locusts, which mainly come from Sudan and other parts of Africa, he said, adding a swarm of locust can range between 50-60 million insects.
The lawyer confirmed residents’ fears that locusts will harm the agricultural sect if they are not soon dealt with.
Many Egyptian tweeps agreed with Saber and addressed “unfulfilled” promises of change and reform by the Muslim Brotherhood and the president’s Freedom and Justice Party’s Renaissance Project (FJP).
A photoshopped logo of the Brotherhood’s FJP went viral reading in Arabic: “Freedom and Justice Party… brings locusts to Egypt.” The original logo states the party “brings good to Egypt.”
“So we kept on saying where is the renaissance project and where is the renaissance bird, we now have the renaissance locust,” said Twitter user @ElBoraei.
Meanwhile, fellow tweep Yaser Mahmoud, said: “Muslim Brotherhood, [and now] locusts... the only thing left are aliens... but I’m sorry, we already have some [aliens] on Al-Nas and Al-Hafez TV,” referring to Islamist television channels.
By Shounaz Mekky
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