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My Planet

Locust invasion in East Africa

Series, 1st place. Special prize by Shanghai United Media Group
Locust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East AfricaLocust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
Locust invasion in East Africa
A farmer examines desert locusts at an infested farm in Nakukulas, Turkana County, Kenya on June 7, 2020. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Horn of Africa faced the worst desert locust crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya. The situation represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the region.
Hundreds of thousands of desert locusts infest a grazing area in Nakukulas, Turkana County, Kenya on June 7, 2020. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Horn of Africa faced the worst desert locust crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya. The situation represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihood in the region.
A truck with a worker in back on a road completely surrounded by a massive swarm of locust in an area near Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. A locust plague fueled by unpredictable weather patterns devastated parts of East Africa. Voracious swarms - some billions strong - of insects ravaged big areas of land just as the coronavirus outbreak had begun to disrupt livelihoods. In spite of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, international experts are in place to support efforts to eradicate the pest with measures including ground and aerial spraying. The Covid-19 pandemic has competed for funding, hampered movement and delayed the import of critical materials, including insecticides and pesticides.
Henry Lenayasa, a Samburu man, chief of the Archers Post settlement, tries to scare away a massive swarm of locusts as they ravage a grazing area next to Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. A locust plague fueled by unpredictable weather patterns devastated parts of East Africa. Voracious swarms - some billions strong - ravaged big areas of land just as the coronavirus outbreak had begun to disrupt livelihoods. In spite of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, international experts are in place to support efforts to eradicate the pest with measures including ground and aerial spraying. The Covid-19 pandemic has competed for funding, hampered movement and delayed the import of critical materials, including insecticides and pesticides.
A massive swarm of locust is seen ravaging the trees in a remote area next to Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Horn of Africa faced the worst desert locust crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya. The situation represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihood in the region.
A member of Kenya’s NYS -National Youth Service- sprays pesticides in an area infested with hopper bands of desert locust near Lokichar, Turkana County, Kenya on June 10, 2020. The National Youth Service (NYS) is an organization under the government of Kenya with the purpose of mentoring Kenya's youth through national programs as well as technical and vocational training. The NYS has been active in the fight against the desert locust in the region. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has competed for funding, hampered movement and delayed the import of critical materials, including insecticides and pesticides.
A desert locust, part of a massive swarm, on a branch in a remote grazing area near Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has competed for funding, hampered movement and delayed the import of critical materials, including insecticides and pesticides.
Lochom Ekiru, 65, a Turkana farmer, assesses the severe damage of his maize crop after hopper bands of desert locust ravaged it in Kalemngorok, Turkana County, Kenya on June 3, 2020. Lochom Ekiru is a farmer and father of 10 children. He is a former pastoralist that lost his cattle due to cattle raiding. As a result, he decided to invest his savings in becoming a farmer. Now, he has tragically lost much of his maize crop due to hopper bands of locusts ravaging the region. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A plane taking part of an aerial survey and control operation sprays insecticide while surrounded by a massive swarm of locusts near Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has competed for funding, hampered movement and delayed the import of critical materials, including insecticides and pesticides.
Turkana girls walking a road covered by desert locust in an infested area of Ngamia One, Nakukulas, Turkana County, Kenya on June 6, 2020. The desert locust upsurge could have devastating consequences in already vulnerable regions, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by recurrent drought, conflict, high food prices, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Horn of Africa faced the worst desert locust crisis in over 25 years, and the most serious in 70 years for Kenya. The situation represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihood in the region.
A motorcyclist wearing a face mask on a road surrounded by a massive swarm of locusts ravaging a grazing area near Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. A locust plague fueled by unpredictable weather patterns devastated parts of East Africa. Voracious swarms -some billions strong- of insects ravaged big areas of land and just as the coronavirus outbreak had begun to disrupt livelihoods. In spite of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, international experts are in place to support efforts to eradicate the pest including ground and aerial spraying. The Covid-19 pandemic has competed for funding, hampered movement and delayed the import of critical materials, including insecticides and pesticides.
Lisa, Chris and Celine, three young pastoralists in Samburu, tending their families’ cattle, look at a swarm of locusts in a grazing area near Archers Post, Samburu County, Kenya on April 24, 2020. Some herders in the region have seen their rangelands stripped bare before their eyes, and before their livestock can get to them. A locust plague fueled by unpredictable weather patterns devastated parts of East Africa. Voracious swarms - some billions strong - ravaged big areas of land just as the coronavirus outbreak had begun to disrupt livelihoods. In spite of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, international experts are in place to support efforts to eradicate the pest including ground and aerial spraying.

Desert locusts are the most destructive migratory pests in the world. Thriving in moist conditions in semi-arid to-arid environments, billions of locusts have been feeding throughout East Africa, devouring everything in their path, posing an unprecedented and serious threat to the food supply and livelihoods of millions of people. The plague was fueled by severe weather anomalies, linked to a climate-change driven event in the Indian Ocean, that created ideal conditions for locust breeding and turned East Africa into a buffet for locusts. The crisis reached historical proportions since some areas in the region like Kenya had not seen such severe desert locust outbreaks in more than 70 years. The desert locust invasion had devastating consequences, potentially causing large-scale crop damage and threatening food security in countries affected by drought, conflict, high food prices, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that significantly slowed efforts to fight the infestation.

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