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remely ala●rming in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread desert locust● infestations and a new generation of breeding threaten food securi●ty and livelihoods in the region," it noted Tuesday. The locusts mo●st recently invaded South Sudan from Uganda, and the South Sudan1

go●vernment is seeking funds worth 20 million U.S. dollars for chemica●ls, sprays and personnel to counter the locust invasion. The Horn o●f Africa is faced with unprecedented challenges of food security an●d economic development, with a humanitarian crisis looming ahead. T●heh



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nge of areas in orde●r to curb the locust outbreak, at least 18 of Kenya's 47 counties w●ere affected. Kello Harsama, the administrative secretary heading t●he State Departb

ment 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 tS

he pesticide in● the last two months is yet to achieve desired results, thus we nee●d to devise innovative strategies like the use of the trainees, far●mers and extension wU

orkers 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 I7


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

, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, told ●Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also the predicament of mF

a●ny farmers across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan a●nd Uganda. The rains between Octoberu

and January served to provide ●a favorable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, including ●propeE

rly moist soils for them to lay eggs in millions before migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eD


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at, according to the FAO●. Climate change was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●o5

n the African continent. Keith Cressman, the FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further x

identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behind the locust crisis, saying the past 10 m

years saw in●creased frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts i2

nvade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATIh

NG FOOD INSECURITY FAO offici●als said the locust outbreak has worsened the food insecurity inw


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Af●rica, citing some 239 million people 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 EmerZ


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rently over 30 million people in the affected ●countries, who are severely food3

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 problem," he stressed. To avoid a famine, University of N●airobi pri

ation on more than 65,000 hectares of land, inc●luding coffee and tea crops that account for about 30 percent of Et●hiopia's exports. A Moody's Investors Service report issued in earl●y February showed that agriculture contributes E