2 new generations of locusts set to descend on East Africa again – 400 times stronger

By Around the Web

(QUARTZ) The locust WhatsApp hotline has been pinging nonstop as farmers and herders across large swathes of rural Kenya send in video clips of massive swarms flying overhead, blocking the light of the sun like a Biblical plague.

This infestation of desert locusts first arrived in East Africa last June, feeding on hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops and pastureland and chomping a path of destruction through at least eight countries (Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan). Scientists say these devastating insects never left East Africa: in fact, favorable wet conditions due to above average rainfall this season means they are likely to achieve two generations of new breeding by June this year, increasing their population size up to 400 times.

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