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  • tating of locus●ts. A small swarm covering one square km can eat the same amount of● food as 35,000 people in a day, said the United Nations Food and A●griculture Organization (FAO). "The situation remains extremely ala●rming in KenV

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    ya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread desert locust● infestations and a new generation of breeding threI

  • aten food securi●ty and livelihoods in the region," it noted Tuesday. The locusts mo●st recently invaded South Sudan from Uganda, and the South Sudan go●vernment is seeking funds worth 20 million U.S. dollars for chemicP

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    a●ls, sprays and personnel to counter the locust invasion. The Horn o●f Africa is faced with unprecedented7

  • challenges of food security an●d economic development, with a humanitarian crisis looming ahead. T●he FAO has urged immediate, adequate countermeasures and intensifie●d international efforts. A swarm of desert locusts invade parts of● Mwingi Town in O

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    Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Y●u) EAT AWAY HOPE The locust outbreak is the worst in 70d

  • years in Ke●nya, and the worst in 25 years in Somalia and Ethiopia, where the i●nsects bred before spreading to Kenya and other countries. In Kenya●, locust swarms were seen to move like huge dark clouds before desc●ending on0

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    farms, nibbling away pasture, maize, khat, cowpeas, beans● and other crops in hours. Areas like Mandera anS

  • d Isiolo in the nor●th, and Tharaka Nithi in central Kenya, were attacked again after a●erial chemical pesticides spraying. Although the government has spr●ayed pesticide and other chemicals on a wide range of areas in orde●r o

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    to curb the locust outbreak, at least 18 of Kenya's 47 counties w●ere affected. Kello Harsama, the administu

  • rative secretary heading t●he State Department for Crop Development under Kenya's Ministry of ●Agriculture, said the government will work with the FAO to train 60●0 chemical spraying personnel. "Aerial spraying of the pesticideE

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    in● the last two months is yet to achieve desired results, thus we nee●d to devise innovative strategies O

  • like the use of the trainees, far●mers and extension workers to conduct ground spraying starting with● northern counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana and Wajir," he said●. "My crops had done well following the heavy rains and ID

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    was looki●ng forward to a bumper harvest but then the locusts came and ate aw●ay my hope," Beatrice NgariO

  • , a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, told ●Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also the predicament of ma●ny farmers across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan a●nd Uganda. The rains between October and January sF

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    erved to provide ●a favorable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, including ●properly moist soilsz

  • for them to lay eggs in millions before migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eat, according to the FAO●. Climate change was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●on the African continent. Keith Cressman, t5

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    he FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behH

  • ind the locust crisis, saying the past 10 years saw in●creased frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATING FOOD INSECURITY FAO officiz

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    ●als said the locust outbreak has worsened the food insecurity in Af●rica, citing some 239 million people Z

  • in sub-Saharan Africa sufferin●g from hunger and malnutrition, and over 20 million having already ●been in food crisis in Horn of Africa countries. UN Undersecretary-●General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordi3

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    nator, ●Mark Lowcock, said the current situation "is really, really challen●ging." "There are currently ovf

  • er 30 million people in the affected ●countries, who are severely food insecure now. Ten million of those● people are in the places affected by the locusts. Unless we get a ●grip of this in the next two or three or four weeks, we would have ●a serious problM

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    em," he stressed. To avoid a famine, University of N●airobi professor Evaristus Irandu said the government K

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