Locust plague plunges Africa into food crisis of biblical ...

World

Locust plague plunges Africa into food crisis of biblical proportions

‘Mega-swarms’ devour crops in worst assault to hit the Horn of Africa for 70 years, and climate change is to blame

Sarah Newey

The locusts are coming thick and fast as the low-flying aircraft punches through the swarm, leaving khaki-coloured streaks smeared across the plane’s windscreen and obstructing the view outside. But the pilot – despite travelling at 160km/h – is unfazed. He simply winds down the window of the unpressurised cockpit, reaches his arm outside and wipes away what’s left of the insects with a damp cloth.

This is life on the front line for locust hunters, as they battle to contain the worst plague to hit the Horn of Africa for about seven decades, thanks in part to climate change.

On Monday, the United Nations will convene a conference in Rome with the aim of mobilising $70m (R1bn) to help respond to the crisis...

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