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heavy rains and I was looking forward to a bumper 〓harvest but then the locusts came and ate away my hop〓e," Beatrice Ngari, a farmer in Embu, central Kenya, 〓told Xinhua. But Ngari was unaware that it is also th〓e predicament of many farmers across Kenya, Somalia, 〓Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda. The rains〓 between October and January served to provide a favo〓rable environment for locusts to breed and thrive, in〓cluding properly moist soils for them to lay eggs in 〓millions before migration and the consequent lush veg〓etation to eat, according to the FAO. Climate change 〓was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall on 〓the African continent. Keith Cressman, the FAO's seni〓or locust forecasting officer, further identified the〓 recent cyclones as another factor behind the locust 〓crisis, saying the past 10 years saw increased freque〓ncy of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese〓rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui Count〓y, Kenya, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATIN〓G FOOD INSECURITY FAO officials said the locust outbr〓eak has worsened the food insecurity in Africa, citin〓g some 239 million people in sub-Sahar