MONSTER swarms of locusts the size of Manhattan are now threatening millions as they chomp through swathes of crops across east Africa. In Kenya – facing its largest infestation in 70 years – desperate cops are even firing machine guns and tear gas into the giant throngs. While in Ethiopia emergency crews are chasing multiple swarms with pesticide pumps and truck-mounted sprayers. The rising numbers of desert locusts are an unprecedented threat to livelihoods, revealed the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation. “This has become a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion,” said director general Qu Dongyu. Desert locusts – the most ravenous of all locust species – can consume their weight in food every single day.And buzzing throngs of bugs – each containing hundreds of millions of insects – can travel more than 90 miles a day. If the outbreak isn’t controlled and the giants swarms could reach 30 countries in Africa and Asia within weeks, warned the UN. “This is a more serious emergency than we had earlier anticipated,” said Guleid Artan, the climate prediction director at East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development. “More locust swarms are entering northern Kenya daily and at… Read full this story
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