Kenya to recruit state-trained youth to fight desert locusts
Friday, February 14th, 2020
Kenya will recruit trainees from the National Youth Service (NYS), country's premier vocational training institute, to boost the fight against desert locusts that are causing havoc in 17 counties, an official said on Thursday.
Kello Harsama, administrative secretary in the State Department of Crops said 600 trainees will be recruited through a partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to conduct ground spraying of the voracious pests.
"We are in the process of bringing on board NYS trainees to strengthen the ongoing war against desert locusts as their spread poses a grave threat to food security in the country," Harsama said at a training forum for the youth at the resort town of Naivasha.
FAO is providing technical capacity to the NYS trainee to enhance their capacity to fight the desert locusts that have spread in the greater horn of the African region.
Harsama said that aerial spraying of the pest in the last two months is yet to achieve desired results hence we need to devise innovative strategies like the use of trainees, farmers and extension workers to conduct on the ground spraying.
"The ground spraying of locusts by NYS officers will be conducted in northern counties of Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana, Wajir and later spread to Machakos and other lower eastern counties.
Tobias Takavarasha, FAO Kenya country-representative said the desert locust invasion remains a challenge in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Somali and Ethiopia where they have worsened a food and nutrition crisis affecting vulnerable people.
"Our goal is to provide the necessary technical capacity to enable the affected countries to deal with this menace," said Takavarasha.
"We are also keen to support the affected countries through funding, capacity building, provision of information and expertise required to contain the spread of the desert locusts," he added. (Xinhua)