LOCUST INVASION

Migori farmers raise concerns after locust sighting

Migori farmers raise concerns after locust sighting

In Summary

• County executives say there is enough spray to deal with locusts.

Locusts sighted in Migori on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
Locusts sighted in Migori on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
Image: MANUEL ODENY

Migori county has allayed fears of a desert locust invasion in the county following a sighting in the last three days.

Farmers had raised concerns following the sighting of locusts in Kokende, Suna West constituency.

For the past three days, farmers said a huge swarm of locusts invaded their farms, a phenomenon they said has never happened in the area.

“The locusts were young, they looked like they had hatched in the area. They have invaded farms and pastures, creating fear of either a bigger swarm or famine,” Albert Okendo, a farmer, said on Thursday.

 

He said children who came from schools spotted the locusts and county government officials were alerted.

County Agriculture executive Valentine Ogongo and county commissioner Joseph Rotich on Thursday led a team of experts in spraying the locusts with insecticide.

They urged farmers to remain calm, adding there is enough pesticide and personnel to control the spread of locusts.

They said the locusts are not the desert type from Yemen or the swarm currently ravaging parts of the country.

“There were about 5,000 locusts, we suspect they are not part of the larger swarm currently terrorising the East Africa region as they were born in the location,” Ogongo said.

He said experts confirmed they are not part of the desert locusts and they needed further research to establish if the breed can swarm, or fly for longer distances.

He said Migori arid areas had experienced rain which made the land moist enough as a good condition for locusts to lay eggs which might have explained the new locusts.

 

“We can confidently say the locusts are under control, we are on high alert and we have contacted neighbouring Tanzania to help prevent any spread,” he said.