VIDEO: Worst locust outbreak in 70 years hits Kenya

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Kenya has been hit by the worst invasion of desert locusts in 70 years

Millions of the insects have invaded the East African nation from Somalia and Ethiopia, devouring farmland and just about anything else in their path.

“Even cows are wondering what is happening,” Ndunda Makanga, a local farmer told the Associated Press. “Corn, sorghum, cowpeas, they have eaten everything.”

The scourge has been exacerbated by climate change, which has brought rising temperatures and more rain to the region.

The outbreak poses an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, regional officials say. [Patrick Ngugi/AP Photo]
The price tag for the spraying comes from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, which leads international efforts to fight hunger.

A group of men attempts to fend off a swarm of desert locusts flying over grazing land in Lemasulani, a village in Kenya’s Samburu county. [Njeri Mwangi/Reuters]
Aerial spraying to beat back the plague of locusts will cost $70 million, the UN estimates.

A single swarm — up to 150 million insects — can consume enough food to feed 35,000 people.

The further increase in locust swarms could last until June as favourable breeding conditions continue. [Njeri Mwangi/Reuters]

Kenya has four planes now flying to spread pesticides but needs more spraying equipment as well as more chemicals, the nation’s agriculture officials said.

 

The insects are now heading toward South Sudan and Uganda, which is already on alert.

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