PUPILS HELP OUT

Workers earn Sh300 daily to chase Mwingi locusts

Swarm said to be yellow, hence, in breeding stage

In Summary

• Farmer requesting teachers to release pupils to help chase away the insects.

• MCA says most teachers in his ward pay workers as much as Sh300 a day to chase pests away.

 

A farmer bangs on piece of mabati to chase locusts from her farm in Mumoni subcounty in Kitui county.
INVASION: A farmer bangs on piece of mabati to chase locusts from her farm in Mumoni subcounty in Kitui county.
Image: LINAH MUSANGI

Farmers in parts of Kitui county's Mwingi North subcounty have been forced to pay workers Sh300 a day to chase away locusts.

Not bad work if you can get it.

And some are asking teachers to release pupils so they can help make noise, scare the locusts and keep them from landing on crops.

Mumoni MCA Johnson Kanandu said most farmers from his ward have hired as many as three workers to prepare for the invasion. 

He urged the government to move with speed and spray the swarms wreaking havoc in farms across the country.

Kanandu said the new swarm, which is yellow, is the mature form of the insect which devours legume leaves, sorghum, millet among other crops, threatening food security.

The insects are also in the breeding stage and are reported to breed at alarming rates.  

Big deposits of eggs has been found and in 21 days, there might be a new swarm, the legislator said.

My people are crying and the government ought to always be prepared for disasters." 

Most farmers in Mwingi North, who expected bumper harvest, are instead counting losses.

Farmer Mwende Kilonzo from Kalatine, Mumoni subcounty, said locusts spent two days in her farm eating.

She said she was also forced to harvest her millet and sorghum earlier for fear her crop would be destroyed.

Kilonzo Musili said some farmers have had to stop other jobs so they don't leave their farms unattended and vulnerable to locusts.

Edited by R.Wamochie