Somalia declares emergency over locust swarms

The UN says the situation in the Horn of Africa is the worst in 25 years
EPA

Somalia has declared a national emergency as large swarms of locusts spread across east Africa.

The country’s Ministry of Agriculture said the insects, which consume large amounts of vegetation, posed “a major threat to Somalia’s fragile food security situation”.

There are fears that the situation may not be brought under control before the harvest begins in April.

The UN says the swarms are the largest in Somalia and Ethiopia in 25 years.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Kenya has not seen a locust threat as severe in 70 years, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

However, Somalia is the first country in the region to declare an emergency over the infestation.

Somalia’s unstable security situation means that planes cannot be used to spray insecticide from the air.

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