Locust outbreak, most serious in 25 years, hits East Africa

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The most serious outbreak of locusts in 25 years is spreading across East Africa and posing an unprecedented threat to food security in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, authorities say. Unusual climate conditions are partly to blame. The locust swarms hang like shimmering dark clouds on the horizon in some places. Roughly the length of a finger, the insects fly together by the millions and are devouring crops and forcing people in some areas to bodily wade through them. Near the Kenyan town of Isiolo on Thursday, one young camel herder swung a stick at them, with little effect. Others tried to shout them away. An “extremely dangerous increase” in locust swarm activity has been reported in Kenya, the East African regional body reported this week. One swarm measured 60 kilometers (37 miles) long by 40 kilometers (25 miles) wide in the country’s northeast, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development said in a statement.

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