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Somalia Hit by Worst Locust Invasion in 25 Years

FILE - A desert locust feeds on crops.
FILE - A desert locust feeds on crops.

Tens of thousands of hectares of farmland is being destroyed as desert locusts swarm over Somalia, in the worst invasion in 25 years.

The locusts have damaged about 70,000 hectares of farmland in Somalia and neighboring eastern Ethiopia, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Wednesday.

VOA's Harun Maruf tweeted dramatic videos of the insects flying over the central Somali town of Adado:

The FAO said the locust invasion was worse than had been predicted and was likely to spread to other nations in the Horn of Africa, including Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan and Sudan.

"As the weather seems favorable for the locust breeding, there is a high probability that the locust will continue to breed until March-April 2020," FAO regional coordinator David Phiri said.

"I was supposed to get up to 3,000 kilograms of teff [a cereal grass] and maize this year, but because of desert locusts and untimely rains, I only got 400 kilograms of maize and expect only 200 kilograms of teff," Ethiopian farmer Ashagre Molla, 66, said. "This is not even enough to feed my family."

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