FAO says Kenya free from locusts apart from Samburu

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FAO says Kenya free from locusts apart from Samburu


locusts

Locusts swarm from ground vegetation at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu County on January 22, 2020. PHOTO | AFP

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Summary

  • 23 counties that had been invaded in the second wave of invasion are now free from the ravaging insects with a few swarms being spotted in Barsaloi, Samburu.
  • The government and FAO deployed nine aircraft for aerial spraying and 21 vehicles fitted with sprayers for ground control in the war on the second wave.

The invasion of desert locust in Kenya has been contained, except in Samburu County, coming as a relief to farmers who were worried about losses from these insects with the onset of long rains.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) office in Nairobi announced on Monday that about 23 counties that had been invaded in the second wave of invasion are now free from the ravaging insects with a few swarms being spotted in Barsaloi, Samburu.

The announcement is a reprieve to farmers, especially in Kenya’s breadbasket of North Rift as there have been fears that the locusts, which had been projected to increase in number with the onset of rains, would damage their crop.

“The only known group of cricket swarms is currently in Barsaloi, Samburu County, the team is conducting surveys for any unspotted swarms. Otherwise, the rest of the affected counties are now free. We remain vigilant and have also upscaled livelihood recovery,” said FAO on its official Twitter handle on Monday.

The UN agency had earlier in the year warned that the swarms would quickly mature and lay eggs if it rained, posing a danger to the crops.

Experts argued that the rains would force the locusts to move from dry areas to regions where there is downpour as they search for fodder.

The weatherman in the March-April-May forecast indicated that the extreme northeastern region is likely to experience below-average rainfall. The rainfall distribution is expected to be poor, especially over the eastern and coastal regions, which had been highly infested by locusts.

The government and FAO deployed nine aircraft for aerial spraying and 21 vehicles fitted with sprayers for ground control in the war on the second wave.

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