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arts of● Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Y●u) EAT AWAY HOPE The locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years in Ke●nya, and the worst in 25 years in Somalia and Ethiopia, where the i●nsects bred before spreading to Kenya and other countries. In Kenya●, locust swarms were seen to move like huge dark clouds before desc●ending on farms, nibbling away pasture, maize, khat, cowpeas, beans● and other crops in hours. Areas like Mandera and Isiolo in the nor●th, and Tharax

ka Nithi in central Kenya, were attacked again after a●erial chemical pesticides spraying. Although the government has spr●ayed pesticide and other chemicals on a wide range 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 Department for Crop Development under Kenya's Ministry of ●Agriculture, said the government will work with the FAOn

to train 60●0 chemical spraying personnel. "Aerial spraying of the 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 workers 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 I was looki●ng forward to a bumper harvest but then the locusts came and ate aw●ay my hope," Beatrice Ngari, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, told ●Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also the predicament of ma●ny farmers across Kenya, Somalian

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, Ethiopia, Tanzania, South S8

udan a●nd Uganda. The rains between October and January served to provide ●a favorable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, including ●properly moist soif

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ls for them to lay eggs in miu

llions before migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eat, according to the FAO●. Climate change was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●on the Africant

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continent. Keith Cressman, the5

FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behind the locust crisis, saying the past 10 years saw in●creased freq8

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uency of cyclones in the e

Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATING FOOD INSER

CURITY FAO offici●als said the locust outbreak has worsened the food insecurity in Af●rica, citing some 239 million people in sub-Sa3

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