Locust Outbreaks in Kenya
Urgent Causes

Locust Outbreaks in Kenya

Kenya is suffering from the worst outbreak of desert locusts for 70 years.  Hundreds of millions of the bugs swarm into Kenya from Somalia and Ethiopia.

The scourge has been exacerbated by climate change, which has brought rising temperatures and more rain to the East African region.

The infestation which first appeared in East Africa last June, has already passed through a number of generation cycles, and is feeding on hundreds of thousands of hectres of crops across at least 5 countries, compounding an already dire food situation heightened by disruption from COVID-19 pandemic and flooding.

A total of number of 5 million people has been plunged into a crises-level food security situation. Another round of hatching of locusts is on the way and could according to scientists, produce swarms up to 8000 times larger than the first generation they have already seen. Because a swarm of locusts of just more than a third of a square mile, can eat the same amount of food in one day as 3500 people, without an immediate increase in prevention measures and help for those who will be affected, the country could be on the verge of a famine like as never be seen before.

With COVID-19 in the country which is preventing people from working and farming Kenya is in an unprecedented risk of food security.

Since June 2020, a new generation of locusts are now finding their wings as they develop their wings for proper flight. With this development in the life cycle of the insect, the livelihood of millions of already vulnerable people already affected by COVID-19 are at stake. This locust saga has no end in sight as millions of locusts will soon become billions that will be nibbling away the leaves of both crops and shrubs that sustain the livestock that is so important to many families in Kenya.

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Urgent Causes