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Horn of Africa Better Able to Fight New Locust Swarms, FAO Says

By Samuel Gebre
Thursday October 15, 2020
Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg
Photographer: Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg

Nations in Horn of Africa are “better prepared” to fight the latest wave of desert locusts than they were a year ago even though the situation is likely to deteriorate in the coming months, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.

The outbreak that began late last year is the worst that parts of the region have experienced in more than seven decades.

Swarms could arrive in Somalia and the northern parts of Kenya by mid-November from Yemen in the northeast, the United Nations body said. In Ethiopia, swarms of hoppers have formed in the northeast and are moving southwest. More swarms are also forming in Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia, it said.

Ground and aerial control is in progress across the region, but operations are “hampered by insecurity” in Yemen, the FAO said, referring to a five-year conflict between the government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi group. Still, the situation “is less dramatic than a year ago and countries are better prepared,” it said.



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