Kenya: swarm of desert locusts worst in decades

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Kenya is facing an “unprecedented threat” from its worst swarm of desert locusts in decades, authorities in the country say.

Agriculture minister, Mwangi Kiunjuri, said the warm of insects spread from Ethiopia and Somalia, now threatening the food production and grazing land across parts of Kenya.

Worst threat in seven decades

Last month, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) said the swarm has destroyed more than 175,000 acres of farmland in neighbouring Somalia and Ethiopia, posing the worst threat for seven decades.

The agency said that due to much of Somalia being engulfed in conflict, spraying pesticides from the air isn’t possible, allowing the swarm to spread into Kenya with greater intensity.

The locusts crossed into northeastern Kenya shortly after Christmas Day and have since spread across Garissa, Isiolo and Samburu counties to the south and west of the country.

The FOA says the locusts are expected to breed in Somalia later this month but stated the risk of this happening in Kenya is lower.

Featured image: By Charles J Sharp – Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59068817

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.