Anxiety As Somalis Smoke Ants To ‘Get High’

Anxiety As Somalis Smoke Ants To 'Get High'
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Police in Somalia has classified a particular kind of ant as a drug, after finding out that people were steaming the insects and inhaling their vapour to get high.

Odorous house ants, whose scientific name is tapinoma sessile, are known to contain formic acid.

There are accounts of birds appearing “drunk” after eating large quantities of these ants, and a security officer has told TV station Somali Cable that humans are deliberately using it to similar effect.

Read Also: Somalia Gets $105m Support From U.S. Amid Worst Drought

“They cut off the ants’ bottoms, then they put them in the pan with the lid on – after it’s boiled for a while people sit around and hover over it, and they get high,” he says in the clip below.

When the presenter asks “is this real?” He replies, “yes – then they become light-headed”.

He even suggests that there is now a “shortage” of these ants because people are going out and looking for them.

Doctors, however, warn that coming into contact with formic acid can cause dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

So, don’t try this one at home.

Meanwhile, Somalis are dying from climate-induced drought fuelled by other nations’ consumption, one of the country’s top officials says.

Abirahman Abdishakur, the president’s special envoy for drought response, told BBC Weekend that Somalia is now facing its fifth, failed rainy season in October.

More than half of Somalia’s population is at serious risk of famine over the next two months unless aid is immediately increased, the UN warned recently.

It has appealed for nearly $1bn (£831m) but Somalia says it has only received a fraction of that.

Africa Daily News, New York

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