05:47 GMT14 August 2020
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    The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) earlier stated that several African countries were experiencing one of the most severe locust outbreaks in decades, threatening to cause significant damage to their food supplies and even result in starvation in the region.

    Somalia's Ministry of Agriculture declared a national emergency in the country over an unprecedented locust infestation that has swept through the Horn of Africa following heavy rainfalls in late 2019.

    “The Ministry of Agriculture... has declared a national emergency in view of the current desert locust upsurge, that poses a major threat to Somalia's fragile food security situation”, the ministry’s statement reads, as quoted by AFP.

    “Food sources for people and their livestock are at risk. The desert swarms are uncommonly large and consume huge amounts of crops and forage”, the ministry added.

    Somalia became the first country in the region to declare an emergency over the locust swarms, as Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda have also been experiencing severe locust outbreaks, with reports suggesting that the number of insects could grow 500-fold across the Horn of Africa by June.

    According to the FAO, if the current locust upsurge is not contained, it could potentially turn into a full-fledged plague, putting the region’s fragile food security situation at even greater risk.

    Tags:
    locust, United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Horn of Africa
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