General

The Islamic method to address the Desert Locusts’ Disaster

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The East African region has been hit by the invasion of desert locust’s crisis that continues to pose an alarm to the farmers. Other affected countries include Yemen, Oman and Pakistan. In Kenya the crisis which is the worst in seventy years has affected seventeen counties. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that over 55,000 hectares have been invaded by the locusts. The British Broadcasting Corporation has mentioned that the locusts which have reached billions are feared to increase.

 

Apart from using tactics to deal with the menace among them aerial spraying, the east African countries have not yet succeeded in controlling the problem. The government of Kenya on her part, has said that it would take six months to deal with the problem which has already threaten the food production. Over ten millions of people are at risk of an acute food shortage due to the invasion of the locusts, this is according to the FAO. It is estimated that the locusts can travel over 150 km (93Miles in a day) and the large locust can consume the huge amount of food in a day.

 

This is one of the natural disasters which usually occurs against the will of human beings hence cannot be prevented. However, Allah SWT has warned human beings against doing things that can risk their lives. Consequently, human beings have been blessed with the intellect upon which they must use it rationally in setting up precautionary measures as a move to minimize the impact of the disasters when it occurs. Sadly, this is not the case within capitalist regimes where we continue to witness the high environmental pollution carried out on a massive scale in line with neglecting of putting early measures before the crisis happens. For example, the United Nation secretary general mentioned the spread of locusts has been largely contributed by the climate change.  The climate experts have repeatedly warned that the high amount of emissions from huge industries have highly contributed to the global warming which in turn cause heavy rains which result into floods. The recent witnessed heavy rains in many parts of the world have created ideal conditions for the insects to breed. Despite having discussions and putting place the environmental laws as an attempt to control the effect of the climate change, we find majority of the countries particularly the West, use the laws to subjugate the weak and least developed countries as they continue advancing their army industries which in reality a solely the cause of emissions.  China, United States, India, and Russia are top leading nations producing emissions in the world this is according to data compiled by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Clearly, capitalism has simply made the world prone to locust’s invasion among other disasters.

 

In addition to this, due to the despotism of capitalist states that normally await disasters to happen, the problem has been astonishing since early warnings were ignored.The Food and Agriculture Organization had issued an early warning June last year i.e. seven months before yet no precautionary steps were taken! This is the fact the locusts invaded the farms owned by ordinary citizens and not of the elites. Capitalism normally segregates people in almost every field of life upon which the capitalists keenly guard their farms will all advanced means whereas those of the laymen neglected.The Kenyan Government through its Agriculture cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, admitted that government delayed in countering the menace, and later was seen to change an attempt after the other in dealing with it which eventually seen out of control.The Government  began with teargas to aerial spraying but both means turned in vain.The worst part of it, the CS Munya urged Kenyans not to worry since the locusts invading Kenya are destined to die of old age!

 

The crisis has apparently shown the high magnitude of state negligence with capitalist regimes as far as the public interests are concerned. At the same time the capitalist politicians in competing for power, they are seen flying to reach every corner of the country hunting for votes but at times of disasters are heavily equipped with empty statements. This is real picture of Capitalism and its leadership putting their interests first before those of common man.

 

As a complete system Islam has defined the responsibility of caring the affairs of the public primarily upon to the State and not on individuals. The Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) illustrated in his noble Hadith:

«الإِمَامُ رَاعٍ وَهُوَ مَسْئُولٌ عَنْ رَعِيَّتِهِ

“The Imam is a shepherd and is responsible for his citizens.”

 

This hadith does not state the functions of a leader but rather carries the deep perspective that distinguishes the Islamic leadership from the Democratic one.

In Islam, leadership is considered as a trust that Allah SWT will question any who took the responsibility of managing the affairs of the people. Upon this understanding, Islam has regarded a state of negligence of leader in taking the care the affairs of citizens a gross misconduct and tyranny. In this regard, The Islamic state, (Caliphate) is mandated to secure the lives of its citizens all time. As for disasters like the locust’s invasion and others such as famine, if there are early indications of looming crises the Khilafah takes high responsibility in putting place early measures.As when it happens, the Khilafah utilizes funds from the treasury (Baitul Mal) to tend to the affected people and this is its responsibility to the public and not a favor.If it happens there are no funds in its treasury, then the Khaleefah (Caliph) will be forced to levy the rich a specific amount to compensate for such a situation. This is how the Khilafah is expected to address natural disasters and tragedies BI IDHNILLAH.

 

SHABANI MWALIMU,

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVE OF HIZB UT TAHRIR, KENYA.