Sunday, January 26, 2020

Billions of locusts swarm through Kenya - in pictures



Huge locust swarms in east Africa are the result of extreme weather swings and could prove catastrophic for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods. Dense clouds of the ravenous insects have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region’s worse infestation in decades

Main image: Desert locusts in Kitui County, Kenya. Photograph: Dai Kurokawa/EPA

Fri 24 Jan 2020 16.34 GMT

A desert locust sits on a maize plant at a farm in Katitika village, Kitui county, Kenya

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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A farmer’s daughter tries to chase away swarms of desert locusts in Katitika

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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Desert locusts on a tree in Lekiji, Samburu East

Photograph: Sven Torfinn/EPA

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Farmers try to chase away the swarms in Katitika. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimated one swarm in Kenya to be around 2,400 sq km (about 930 sq miles), meaning it could contain up to 200 billion locusts, each of which consume their own weight in food every day

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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Locusts fly above Katitika. Desert locusts are notoriously difficult to control as they often appear in remote areas and can move up to 150km (90 miles) in one day

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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Farmer Kanini Ndunda reaches up with a shovel to shake tree branches

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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The locust invasion is the biggest in Ethiopia and Somalia in 25 years, and the biggest in Kenya in 70 years, according to the FAO

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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A large swarm of desert locusts near Lekiji, Samburu East, Kenya

Photograph: Sven Torfinn/EPA

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Guleid Artan of the Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), told a press conference in Nairobi that the locusts were the latest symptom of extreme conditions that saw 2019 start with a drought and end in one of the wettest rainy seasons in four decades

Photograph: Ben Curtis/AP

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Locusts sitting on a tree in Lekiji, Samburu East

Photograph: Sven Torfinn/EPA

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Locusts sit on the ground in the bush near Enziu some 200km east of the capital Nairobi. The massive swarms entered Kenya in December and have torn through pastureland in the north and centre of the country.

Photograph: Dai Kurokawa/EPA

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Save the Children’s regional director for east and southern Africa, Ian Vale, said that the NGO’s staff in Kenya were battling ‘swarms so thick they can barely see through them. This new disaster bodes ill for the region in 2020 ... The erratic weather of 2019 and the decade prior has already severely eroded the capacity of families to bounce back from unexpected crises.’

Photograph: Dai Kurokawa/EPA

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Locusts swarm over a bush in Ololokwe, Samburu County

Photograph: Sven Torfinn/EPA



Some farmers have been relatively lucky as their crops had already matured or been harvested by the time the locusts arrived, but herders face difficulties as vegetation for their animals is consumed by the locusts

Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP /Getty Images



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