Growing swarms of locusts converging in Kenya threaten crops


Locusts swarm on a tree south of Lodwar town in Turkana county, northern Kenya, June 23, 2020.
Locusts swarm on a tree south of Lodwar town in Turkana county, northern Kenya, June 23, 2020. PHOTO | VOA

Kenya is under siege again by swarms of locusts that threaten to ruin farmers’ crops and pastures.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement the maturing desert locusts are swarming across seven counties.

This nearly double the number of counties impacted a week ago.

The latest locust invasion in Kenya comes as the FAO warns the 28 anti-locust aircraft assembled by East African countries to wipe out the pest is in jeopardy of being grounded because of a lack of funding.

The FAO told its humanitarian partners Tuesday that some $38.8 million (Ksh.4.3billion) in additional funding will be needed to keep the planes in the air through June over East Africa and Yemen.

One farmer in northern Kenya was spotted trying to get rid of swarms by banging a stick against a can, hoping the noise would cause the pests to move on and spare his crops.

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