5-speed listening (Locust Invasion - Level 5)

Worst locust invasion in East Africa in 70 years






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The living of farmers in East Africa is under attack from locusts. Authorities say swarms of locusts are destroying large areas of farmland. Millions of people are at risk. The insects destroyed crops in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and other countries. The swarms are spreading and could affect neighbouring countries. The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation say some swarms have been sighted as far away as Yemen and Oman in the Gulf. It is the worst locust invasion in 70 years. Some say it is nearing a Biblical scale.

The locust invasion is affecting over 12 million people. Many of these were experiencing food insecurity due to poor harvests and no rain. The locusts will only worsen the plight of people. Locusts are very voracious pests. One locust can eat its body weight in just 24 hours. A small swarm could eat enough food to feed 35,000 people for a day. A farmer in Kenya was concerned. She said: "We depend a lot on this season and we worry that the locusts will destroy our harvest. We will end up remaining hungry through the rest of the year [until next year's harvest]."

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