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UN warns Africa's ongoing locust crisis could become 'major humanitarian plague'

ANI  |  Asia 

The United Nations has warned that the ongoing locust crisis in eastern Africa could become a major humanitarian plague.

The locust outbreak in east Africa comes after heavy rainfall in the region in late 2019. It brought a swarm of desert locust to the region, resulting in a complete loss of crops, Sputnik reported.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock, during a Monday press conference at UN headquarters in New York, warned that the outbreak has the potential "to be the most devastating plague of locusts in any of our living memories if we don't reduce the problem faster than we're doing at the moment".

UN Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) senior locust forecasting officer Keith Cressman noted that a medium-size swarm of locusts, which can contain up to 150 million insects, can, in a single day, eat the same amount of food as the entire population of Kenya.

"We're expecting any day they will move across the border into the southeast corner of South Sudan," Cressman said.

"A swarm in one day can eat the same amount of food as everybody here in the tri-state area (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York). So not taking action in time -- you can see the consequences," Cressman said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 12 2020. 11:24 IST