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Suda〓n from Uganda, and the South Sudan government is seek〓ing funds worth 20 million U.S. dollars for c4

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hemicals〓, sprays and personnel to counter the locust invasion〓. The Horn of Africa is faced with unprecel

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dented chal〓lenges of food security and economic development, wit〓h a humanitarian crisis looming ahead. k

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The FAO has ur〓ged immediate, adequate countermeasures and intensifi〓ed international efforts. A swarm of desert locusts 〓invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, F〓eb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) EAT AWAY HOPE The loc〓ust outbreak is the worst in 70 years in Kenya, and t〓he worst in 25 years in Somalia and Ethiopia, where t〓he insects bred before spreading to Kenya and other c〓ountries. In Kenya, locu6

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st swarms were seen to move l〓ike huge dark clouds before descending on farms, nibb〓ling away pasture, maize, khat, cowpeas, beans and ot〓her crops in hours. Areas like Mandera and Isiolo in 〓the north, and Tharaka Nithi in central Kenya, were a〓ttacked again after aerial chemical pesticides sprayi〓ng. Although the government has sprayed pesticide and〓 other chemicals on a wide range of areas in order to〓 curb the locust outbreak, at least 18 of Kenya's 47 〓counties were affected. Kello Harsama, the administra〓tive secretary heading the State Department for Crop 〓Development under Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture, sa〓id the government will work with the FAO to train 600〓 chemical spraying personnel. "Aerial spraying of the〓 pesticide in the last two months is yet to achieve d〓esired results, thus we need to devise innovative str〓ategies like the use of the trainees, farmers and ext〓ension workers to conduct ground spraying starting wi〓th northern counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana and〓 Wajir," he said. "My crops had done well following t〓he heavy rains and I was looking forward to a bumper 〓harvest but then the locusts came and ate away my hop〓e," Beatrice Ngari, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, 〓told Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also th〓e predicament of many farmers across Kenya, Somalia, 〓Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda. The rains〓 between October and January served to provide a favo〓rable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, in〓cluding properly moist soils for them to lay eggs in 〓millions before migration and the consequent lush veg〓etation to eat, according to the FAO. Climate change 〓was to blame for the unusually plentiful rau

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