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. Unless we get a ●grip of this in the next two or three or four weeks, we would have ●a serious problem," he stressed. To avoid a famine, University of N●airobi professor Evaristus Irandu said the government may have to u●se the scarce foreign currency to import food products, adding that● poverty will increase in the country. "All our investment is going● down the drain. The sorghum and millet crops were about to mature ●and we would have harvested next month," said Nathan Njiru, a farme●r in Tharaka Nithi, whose livelihood largely depends on selling sor●ghum to Nairobi's beer brewers. In EV



thiopia, the locusts have so fa●r consumed the vegetation on more than 65,000 hectares of land, inc●luding coffee and tea crops that account for about 30 percent of Et●hiopia's exports. A Moody's Investors Service report issued in earl●y February showed that agriculture contributes about one-third of t●he gross domestic product in East Africa and more than 65 percent o●f jobs in all regional countries except for Kenya. A farmer attemp●ts to scare away desert locusts in Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Ken●ya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION URGE●D The desert locust swav

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rms have travelled from Africa to Asia. Indi●a is suffering the worst hit in 60 years. "Today locust swarms are ●as big as major cities and it's getting worse by the day," said UN ●Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging the international commun●ity to take immediate counteractions. Sacko Josefa, AU Commissioner● for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said earlier this month that th●e 55-member pan-African bloc is working directly with the FAO to ma●ke sure that there is no spread to other countries. Antonio Querido●, UN FAO representative in Uganda, said international organizations● are providing technical support and mobilizing resources for Ugand●a as it strives to fight the locusts. In order to get more internat●ional help, Somalia on Feb. 2 declared the locust infestation a nat●ional emergency. Irandu said that the present invasion is likely to● cost enormous financial and human resources far beyond the capabil●ity of the East African countries. Hence there is a need for a conc●erted effort by regional and other international organizations to o●ffer money, expertise and equipment such as planes. Otherwise, the ●locust invasion may wipe out food production in many African countr●ies. The FAO recently launched a 76 million U.S. dollars appeal to ●control the locusts' spread. Weeks later, only around 20 million do●llars have been received, said Lowcock. Irandu suggested that inten●sified international efforts should be made to coordinate aerial sp●rays, share scientific knowledge on breeding and migratory habits o●f locusts, and raise funds from partners. In the long run, experts ●have called for the investment in research to contain the impacts o●f climate change, including the locusts invasion. A swarm of deser●t locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb. ●20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) "Peop4

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le must be sensitized adequately o●n their roles in adaptation and mitigation programs to ensure unifo●rmity in progress," said Edward Mungai, chief executive officer of ●Kenya Climate Innovation Center. b

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