East Africa: Worst locust swarms in 25 years could worsen food crisis

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An average swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day to feed 2,500 people, authorities say.

Source: East Africa: Worst locust swarms in 25 years could worsen food crisis

The most serious outbreak of locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa with a single swarm covering an area one-and-a-half times the size of Greater London.

Unusual climate conditions are partially to blame for the plague, which is posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.

The insects are devouring crops, with Kenya one of the worst countries to be affected.

One swarm measured 60km (37 miles) by 40km (25 miles) in the country’s northeast.

Locusts in Kenya

A spokesman for the country’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said: “A typical desert locust swarm can contain up to 150 million locusts per square kilometre.

“Swarms migrate with the wind and can cover 100 to 150 kilometres in a day.

“An average swarm can destroy as much food crops in a day as is sufficient to feed 2,500 people.”

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