DUSHANBE, April 18, Asia-Plus  -- The United Nations’ humanitarian wing is urgently appealing for $1.4 million so that it can buy and pre-position emergency water, sanitation and cooking items for up to 1,500 households in Tajikistan, which faces the threat of floods and landslides after a severe winter across much of Central Asia, information posted on the UN web site on April 17 said.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says the likelihood of floods and landslides in upcoming weeks remains high following weeks of heavy snow and intense rains.

OCHA is also reporting that Tajikistan could be hit by a locust infestation over more than 150,000 hectares of land because a combination of favorable weather conditions and incomplete spraying last year has led to a larger than normal amount of locusts’ eggs developing to adult stage.

“The pest is developing quicker and earlier than usual and action is extremely time-sensitive,” according to a situation report issued by OCHA on April 16.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling for $500,000 to cover the cost of pesticides and equipment, warning that unless those funds are received within the next week, it may not be able to avert a major outbreak.