New wave of locusts swarming through East Africa

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Anne Soy BBC News, Nairobi

There is mounting evidence of a new wave of desert locusts in East Africa, raisng fears of food insecurity.

Earlier in the year, billions of the insects destroyed crops across the region – with the UN warning a second generation would be even more destructive.

Now, despite international efforts, those fears appear to be coming to pass.

Farmers in Kenya’s Turkana County said they used to boil leaves then add washing powder, and pour it where the locusts are – but it proved ineffective.

Aerial spraying is the only sure way to control the numerous swarms of desert locusts, but they are not reaching every affected area in time. Locusts are hard to spot from high up in the air.

There’s already a sense that things are getting out of hand, and if the locusts are not contained at this point, it could become a perennial problem in the country.

And they’re likely to be in northern Kenya where it’s warmer – there is plenty of sandy soil and whenever there’s humidity, they will easily reproduce.