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Pictures | Thu Feb 27, 2020 | 6:10pm GMT

East Africa faces new locust threat

A swarm of desert locusts flies over a ranch near the town on Nanyuki in Laikipia county, Kenya, February 21, 2020. Countries in East Africa are racing against time to prevent new swarms of locusts wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the worst infestation in generations.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A swarm of desert locusts flies over a ranch near the town on Nanyuki in Laikipia county, Kenya, February 21, 2020. Countries in East Africa are racing against time to prevent new swarms of locusts wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the...more

A swarm of desert locusts flies over a ranch near the town on Nanyuki in Laikipia county, Kenya, February 21, 2020. Countries in East Africa are racing against time to prevent new swarms of locusts wreaking havoc with crops and livelihoods after the worst infestation in generations. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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A lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not their only problem: Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can't guarantee exterminators' safety.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not their only problem: Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can't guarantee exterminators' safety. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A lack of expertise in controlling the pests is not their only problem: Kenya temporarily ran out of pesticides, Ethiopia needs more planes and Somalia and Yemen, torn by civil war, can't guarantee exterminators' safety. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Locust swarms have been recorded in the region since biblical times, but unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change have created ideal conditions for insect numbers to surge, scientists say. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Newly hatched desert locusts are seen on the road in Archers Post, Kenya. Warmer seas are creating more rain, wakening dormant eggs, and cyclones that disperse the swarms are getting stronger and more frequent.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Newly hatched desert locusts are seen on the road in Archers Post, Kenya. Warmer seas are creating more rain, wakening dormant eggs, and cyclones that disperse the swarms are getting stronger and more frequent. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Newly hatched desert locusts are seen on the road in Archers Post, Kenya. Warmer seas are creating more rain, wakening dormant eggs, and cyclones that disperse the swarms are getting stronger and more frequent. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Samburu men look at a swarm of newly hatched desert locusts on a tree near Archers Post, Kenya. In Ethiopia the locusts have reached the fertile Rift Valley farmland and stripped grazing grounds in Kenya and Somalia. Swarms can travel up to 93 miles (150 km) a day and contain between 40-80 million locusts per square kilometer.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Samburu men look at a swarm of newly hatched desert locusts on a tree near Archers Post, Kenya. In Ethiopia the locusts have reached the fertile Rift Valley farmland and stripped grazing grounds in Kenya and Somalia. Swarms can travel up to 93 miles...more

Samburu men look at a swarm of newly hatched desert locusts on a tree near Archers Post, Kenya. In Ethiopia the locusts have reached the fertile Rift Valley farmland and stripped grazing grounds in Kenya and Somalia. Swarms can travel up to 93 miles (150 km) a day and contain between 40-80 million locusts per square kilometer. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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If left unchecked, the number of locusts in East Africa could explode 400-fold by June. That would devastate harvests in a region with more than 19 million hungry people, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

If left unchecked, the number of locusts in East Africa could explode 400-fold by June. That would devastate harvests in a region with more than 19 million hungry people, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. REUTERS/Baz...more

If left unchecked, the number of locusts in East Africa could explode 400-fold by June. That would devastate harvests in a region with more than 19 million hungry people, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Uganda has deployed the military. Kenya has trained hundreds of youth cadets to spray. Lacking pesticides, some security forces in Somalia have shot anti-aircraft guns at swarms darkening the skies.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Uganda has deployed the military. Kenya has trained hundreds of youth cadets to spray. Lacking pesticides, some security forces in Somalia have shot anti-aircraft guns at swarms darkening the skies. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Uganda has deployed the military. Kenya has trained hundreds of youth cadets to spray. Lacking pesticides, some security forces in Somalia have shot anti-aircraft guns at swarms darkening the skies. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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A Samburu man walks through a swarm of newly hatched desert locusts on a road near Archers Post, Kenya. Everyone is racing the rains expected in March: the next generation of larvae is already wriggling from the ground, just as farmers plant their seeds. "The second wave is coming," said Cyril Ferrand, FAO's head of resilience for Eastern Africa. "As crops are planted, locusts will eat everything."

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A Samburu man walks through a swarm of newly hatched desert locusts on a road near Archers Post, Kenya. Everyone is racing the rains expected in March: the next generation of larvae is already wriggling from the ground, just as farmers plant their...more

A Samburu man walks through a swarm of newly hatched desert locusts on a road near Archers Post, Kenya. Everyone is racing the rains expected in March: the next generation of larvae is already wriggling from the ground, just as farmers plant their seeds. "The second wave is coming," said Cyril Ferrand, FAO's head of resilience for Eastern Africa. "As crops are planted, locusts will eat everything." REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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The impact so far on agriculture, which generates about a third of East Africa's economic output, is unknown, but FAO is using satellite images to assess the damage, he said.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The impact so far on agriculture, which generates about a third of East Africa's economic output, is unknown, but FAO is using satellite images to assess the damage, he said. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The impact so far on agriculture, which generates about a third of East Africa's economic output, is unknown, but FAO is using satellite images to assess the damage, he said. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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A swarm of locusts flies over a ranch near Nanyuki, Kenya. In Kenya, the region's wealthiest and most stable country, the locusts are mostly in the semi-arid north, although some crops have been affected, said Stanley Kipkoech, a senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A swarm of locusts flies over a ranch near Nanyuki, Kenya. In Kenya, the region's wealthiest and most stable country, the locusts are mostly in the semi-arid north, although some crops have been affected, said Stanley Kipkoech, a senior official at...more

A swarm of locusts flies over a ranch near Nanyuki, Kenya. In Kenya, the region's wealthiest and most stable country, the locusts are mostly in the semi-arid north, although some crops have been affected, said Stanley Kipkoech, a senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Newly hatched desert locusts feed of a bush near Archers Post, Kenya. This month, Kenya ran out of pesticide for about a week and a half, he said. Farmers watched helplessly as their families' crops were devoured.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Newly hatched desert locusts feed of a bush near Archers Post, Kenya. This month, Kenya ran out of pesticide for about a week and a half, he said. Farmers watched helplessly as their families' crops were devoured. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Newly hatched desert locusts feed of a bush near Archers Post, Kenya. This month, Kenya ran out of pesticide for about a week and a half, he said. Farmers watched helplessly as their families' crops were devoured. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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A man attempts to fend off locusts at a ranch near Nanyuki, Kenya. Locusts have a life cycle of three months. FAO says each generation is an average of 20 times more numerous. When eggs hatch, as they are doing now in northern Kenya, the hungry young locusts are earthbound for two weeks and more vulnerable to spraying than when they grow wings.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A man attempts to fend off locusts at a ranch near Nanyuki, Kenya. Locusts have a life cycle of three months. FAO says each generation is an average of 20 times more numerous. When eggs hatch, as they are doing now in northern Kenya, the hungry young...more

A man attempts to fend off locusts at a ranch near Nanyuki, Kenya. Locusts have a life cycle of three months. FAO says each generation is an average of 20 times more numerous. When eggs hatch, as they are doing now in northern Kenya, the hungry young locusts are earthbound for two weeks and more vulnerable to spraying than when they grow wings. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Samburu men look at newly hatched desert locusts on a tree near Archers Post, Kenya. After the locusts' first two weeks, they take to the air in swarms so dense they have forced aircraft to divert. A single square kilometer swarm can eat as much food in a day as 35,000 people.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Samburu men look at newly hatched desert locusts on a tree near Archers Post, Kenya. After the locusts' first two weeks, they take to the air in swarms so dense they have forced aircraft to divert. A single square kilometer swarm can eat as much food...more

Samburu men look at newly hatched desert locusts on a tree near Archers Post, Kenya. After the locusts' first two weeks, they take to the air in swarms so dense they have forced aircraft to divert. A single square kilometer swarm can eat as much food in a day as 35,000 people. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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The rains that blessed the region with a bumper crop last year after a prolonged drought also brought a curse. A cyclical weather pattern in the Indian Ocean, intensified by rising sea temperatures, contributed to one of the wettest October-December rainy seasons in five decades, said Nathanial Matthews of the Stockholm-based Global Resilience Partnership, a public-private partnership focused on climate change.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The rains that blessed the region with a bumper crop last year after a prolonged drought also brought a curse. A cyclical weather pattern in the Indian Ocean, intensified by rising sea temperatures, contributed to one of the wettest October-December...more

The rains that blessed the region with a bumper crop last year after a prolonged drought also brought a curse. A cyclical weather pattern in the Indian Ocean, intensified by rising sea temperatures, contributed to one of the wettest October-December rainy seasons in five decades, said Nathanial Matthews of the Stockholm-based Global Resilience Partnership, a public-private partnership focused on climate change. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Locusts hatched in Yemen, largely ignored in the chaos of the civil war. They migrated across the Red Sea to the Horn of Africa, then spread to Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. Now they have been spotted in Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Locusts hatched in Yemen, largely ignored in the chaos of the civil war. They migrated across the Red Sea to the Horn of Africa, then spread to Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. Now they have been spotted in Uganda, South Sudan and...more

Locusts hatched in Yemen, largely ignored in the chaos of the civil war. They migrated across the Red Sea to the Horn of Africa, then spread to Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. Now they have been spotted in Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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The rains awoke the dormant eggs then stronger and more numerous cyclones scattered the insects. Eight cyclones tore across the Indian Ocean in 2019, the highest number in a single year since records began, said Matthews.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The rains awoke the dormant eggs then stronger and more numerous cyclones scattered the insects. Eight cyclones tore across the Indian Ocean in 2019, the highest number in a single year since records began, said Matthews. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The rains awoke the dormant eggs then stronger and more numerous cyclones scattered the insects. Eight cyclones tore across the Indian Ocean in 2019, the highest number in a single year since records began, said Matthews. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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FAO said containing the plague will cost at least $138 million. So far, donors have pledged $52 million. Failure means more hunger in a region already battered by conflict and climate shocks. Since 2016, there have been droughts in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, then floods, Ferrand said. In South Sudan, more than half the population already faces food shortages.

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

FAO said containing the plague will cost at least $138 million. So far, donors have pledged $52 million. Failure means more hunger in a region already battered by conflict and climate shocks. Since 2016, there have been droughts in Kenya, Somalia,...more

FAO said containing the plague will cost at least $138 million. So far, donors have pledged $52 million. Failure means more hunger in a region already battered by conflict and climate shocks. Since 2016, there have been droughts in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, then floods, Ferrand said. In South Sudan, more than half the population already faces food shortages. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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A man attempts to fend off a swarm of desert locusts at a ranch near the town of Nanyuki in Laikipia county, Kenya. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A man attempts to fend off a swarm of desert locusts at a ranch near the town of Nanyuki in Laikipia county, Kenya. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A man attempts to fend off a swarm of desert locusts at a ranch near the town of Nanyuki in Laikipia county, Kenya. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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