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Somalia declares 'national emergency' over locust plague


<p>Somalia declared the invasion of locusts as a national emergency Sunday. </p> <p>Locusts have devastated food supplies in one of the poorest and most vulnerable regions of the world.</p> <p>A statement by Somalia’s Agriculture ministry said the move is due to current upsurge of locusts, which constitute a major threat to the fragile food security in the country.</p> <p>The statement added that food sources for people and their livestock are under threat.</p> <p>Somalia is the first nation in East Africa to embark on a national mobilization drive to combat the swarm of locusts. </p> <p>Experts say the appearance of the hungry locusts could be linked to extreme climate variations.</p> <p>The invasion of the insects is a first in 70 years. Totaling several billions, locusts have been destroying large areas in East Africa for several weeks, with fears of a catastrophe for an already drought and flood stricken region.</p> <p>Somalia’s government said it will raise funds to try to contain the locusts before harvest in April. An army of locusts spread from Ethiopia, Somalia to Kenya late last month.</p> <p><strong><span class="caps">AFP</span></strong></p>
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