Boost fight against locusts invasion, legislator tells State
Monday, January 27th, 2020
- Wajir, Mandera and Garissa counties were first hit by the invasion before the insects spread to Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Samburu and Laikipia counties.
- The FAO has said there is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the country due to the invasion.
Paul Ndung’u and Agencies
The government has been urged to step up the fight against locusts that have invaded most parts of Northern Kenya, threatening to diminish pasture meant for livestock.
Laikipia North MP Sarah Lekorere said although the insects have not invaded Kenya’s food basket counties, pastoralists who depend on cattle will be left with no pasture if the locusts are not contained.
“Herders were very expectant that this would be a good year for them following long rains late last year that enabled the Northern counties to have enough pasture that would see them through for about four months but the locusts have already destroyed large tracks of grazing fields,” she said.
The legislator said the exercise to spray the locusts that is spearheaded by the government in collaboration with private ranchers in Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo has crumbled due to miscommunication.
Speaking at Ethi Secondary School, she said this is threatening the fight against the locusts invasion and in three months animals and residents will be faced with starvation.
This comes just as reports indicate new swarms of locusts are entering Kenya from Somalia.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) has warned it might take up to June to control the menace.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has released Sh1 billion for aerial pesticide spraying in response to the worst locust outbreak in decades to hit East Africa, a UN spokesman said last Thursday.
The outbreak is affecting the Horn of Africa, Southwest Asia and the Red Sea, said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The allocation will go to Fao, to fund an increase in aerial pesticide spraying operations.