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video highlights Locust crisis farmers are facing in East Africa : Locust Swarms Ravaging East Africa Are the Size of Cities
epaselect epa08158445 A local farmer Theophilus Mwendwa runs through a swarm of desert locusts to chase them away in the bush near Enziu, Kitui County, some 200km east of the capital Nairobi, Kenya, 24 January 2020. Large swarms of desert locusts have been invading Kenya for weeks, after having infested some 70 thousand hectares of land in Somalia which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has termed the 'worst situation in 25 years' in the Horn of Africa. FAO cautioned that it poses an 'unprecedented threat' to food security and livelihoods in the region. EPA-EFE/DAI KUROKAWA
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video highlights Locust crisis farmers are facing in East Africa : Locust Swarms Ravaging East Africa Are the Size of Cities 

 

As locusts devour crops in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the insects are breeding in Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan—all areas that are prone to drought and food shortages. Swarms have now arrived in Uganda, and locusts have also crossed into Tanzania.

The number of locusts in East Africa could expand 500 times by June, the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization said last month. The region gets heavy seasonal rains—and great locust-breeding and swarming conditions—from March through May. Last year, the October-to-December rainy season was among the wettest in 40 years, with cumulative rainfall ranging from 120% to 400% of normal.

“Locust outbreaks are expected to become more frequent and severe under climate change,” said Rick Overson, a research coordinator at the Global Locust Initiative at Arizona State University. “Locusts are quite adept at responding rapidly and capitalizing on extreme rainfall events.”

 

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