A Locust Infestation Could Cause Famine In Parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia

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Experts are calling the problem a “rolling emergency."

An increase in locust swarms could cause a food security crisis in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Experts are calling the problem a “rolling emergency” after an infestation of locusts in December that was expected to die out continued due to unseasonal rains caused by climate change.

The locusts, which thrive in moist conditions, have continued to form and multiply. The insects live for three months and in that time they lay eggs. They take about six weeks to form into adult locusts that can eat their body weight in food every day.

Kenya is having the worst infestation the country has experienced in seven decades and livestock is being completely eaten. Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, India and Pakistan have also seen many of their crops destroyed, according to reports.

The new round of hatching could result in swarms that are 8,000 times larger than swarms that initially broke out in December, according to a new report from the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The problem is putting millions of people at risk of famine.

Somalia, which is expected to be the hardest hit, could experience 50 to 70% crop loss, according to experts. 

The IRC is reportedly working with communities to help spray locust nests before they hatch to try to control the outbreak. The organization is also preparing to help farmers recover if they are victims of the devastation and also offering families money for food.