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Locusts plague East Africa


A farmer’s daughter chases away locusts in Katitika, Kenya, last month. Associated Press/Photo by Ben Curtis

Locusts plague East Africa

Locusts have swarmed Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda in the worst infestation that some parts of the region have seen in 70 years. Now, a small group of desert locusts has entered the Democratic Republic of Congo for the first time since 1944. Reports of swarms have also come in from Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, and South Sudan. In a joint statement, United Nations relief agencies called the locusts “a scourge of biblical proportions” and “a graphic and shocking reminder of this region’s vulnerability.”

What does this mean for the countries? The swarms can reach the size of major cities, destroy crops, and devastate pastureland. UN agencies warned of a “major hunger threat” throughout East Africa and asked for $138 million in aid.

Dig deeper: Pakistan is facing a locust plague of its own: Read Mindy Belz’s report in Globe Trot.


Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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