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Africa’s locust outbreak to worsen

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/10/20, 12:26 pm

A second wave of locusts, up to 20 times the size of the one plaguing East Africa now, is expected to hit several countries in the region in the coming months. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kenya, and South Sudan are battling the worst locust outbreak in 70 years. Favorable breeding conditions in May likely will trigger a new round of swarms during the start of the harvest season in late June and July, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization said on Wednesday.

What effects will the locusts have? The UN warned that the pests present “an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods.” The countries battling the locusts already struggle with food shortages and are coping with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Dig deeper: Read Rachel Lynn Aldrich’s earlier report in The Sift on the locust outbreak in eastern Africa.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 04/13/2020 08:20 pm

    I wonder if it would be possible between now and June to mobilize enough planes and manufacture enough insecticide to spray some of the most productive crop-growing areas. 

    If the damage to the harvest is as great as the experts seem to be predicting, I’m not sure there is enough surplus food production in the rest of the world to prevent massive starvation in Africa.  

    I think I will prod some of our officials, like my Senators and maybe Department of Agriculture people to see what the US can be doing to mitigate this.