UN warns of ‘major shock’ as Africa locust outbreak spreads

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, young desert locusts that have not yet grown wings jump in the air as they are approached, as a visiting delegation from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) observes them, in the desert near Garowe, in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia. The desert locusts in this arid patch of northern Somalia look less ominous than the billion-member swarms infesting East Africa, but the hopping young locusts are the next wave in the outbreak that threatens more than 10 million people across the region with a severe hunger crisis. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Uganda scrambled to respond to the arrival of the biggest locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in decades, while the United Nations warned Monday that “we simply cannot afford another major shock” to an already vulnerable region.

An emergency government meeting hours after the locusts were spotted inside Uganda on Sunday decided to deploy military forces to help with ground-based pesticide spraying, while two planes for aerial spraying will arrive as soon as possible, a statement said. Aerial spraying is considered the only effective control.

-Read more here: https://apnews.com/3062a16869436a7eeb2b5596c7d04278

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