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Kenya battles swarms of locusts

Authorities are battling swarms of locusts, which are reported to have damaged crops. It is the FIRST TIME IN 45 YEARS such large numbers have been seen in Kenya. The ravenous creatures - which are capable of stripping vegetation in minutes - are laying eggs in remote areas in the north-east of the country. If the locusts are successful in laying eggs, then the threat lies in them hatching as hoppers in about two weeks. They wo
uld then turn into adult insects - which if uncontrolled are capable of devastating any vegetation they alight on. The insects can eat their own weight in food every day, which means a single swarm can consume as much food as several thousand people. Locust swarms have been spotted in many areas in the Horn of Africa, but it is the first time since the early 1960s that large concentrations have moved into Kenya. Africa experienced devastating swarms in 2004 when they swept across northern and western Africa, leaving 60% of Mauritania's population - 400,000 people - needing food aid.

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