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UN warns that Africa's plague of locusts could get much worse if no action taken

Posted at 11:53 AM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 11:58:24-05

As Africa continues to deal with its worst locust infestation in 25 years, experts warn that the problem could get much worse if not taken care of soon.

Experts suspect that the infestation is a result of abnormal weather patterns in the region — particularly heavy rains between October and December.

Now, millions of locusts are ravaging the Horn of Africa. From Kenya to Ethiopia, the bugs are threatening the food supply in the region.

And according to NPR, the plague could get worse if action is not taken soon. The UN's Food and Agriculture says the swarms could grow up to 400 to 500 times larger by June if the problem isn't addressed.

While experts know how to stop the infestations — pesticides sprayed from planes — countries in the region are finding it difficult to find the resources to purchase the large amounts of chemicals needed.

Compounding the problem is the ongoing conflicts in countries like Somalia and Yemen. Officials are finding it difficult to fly in to war-torn regions in order to spray pesticides.

Sec. of State Mike Pompeo recently said that the United States would pledge $8 million to help fight the locust plagues in Africa, according to the Wall Street Journal.