THEY REBOUNDED

Locusts eat Turkana shrubs after rains

Last week, parts of Turkana received first drops of rains since last year April.

In Summary

•Now rains have come, locusts remains the biggest threat to the shrubs.

•Turkana Executive for Agriculture Christopher Aletia says the government to spend Sh37 million to spray the locusts i

A tree locust in Turkana
INVASION: A tree locust in Turkana
Image: HESBORN ETYANG

Desert locusts have infested the little vegetation that sprouted last week, leaving animals with nothing to feed on.

Last week, parts of Turkana received first drops of rains since last year April.

The drought had dried up pastures, water pans and boreholes.

 

Pastoralists from Turkana North and Kibish sub counties, which were among the hardest hit by drought, said there is fear of locusts multiplying to feed on their shrubs.

Peter Ekadeli, a resident of Kibish Sub county, said it was hard for them to access water.

This forced some of the herders to traverse to insecure regions along the Kenya-Ethiopia border in search of water and pasture for survival.

He said now rains have come to normalise the situation, locusts remains the biggest threat to their shrubs.

"The county government should act immediately to save our shrubs by spraying tree locusts that might cause destruction again because it's a relief to our animals as we get rains. I was worried of the scorching drought that could kill all our animals and leave us vulnerable," Peter Echakan, a pastoralist in Kibish, said.

Turkana Executive for Agriculture Christopher Aletia said the government would spend Sh37 million to spray the locusts in Turkana county.

He said as drought struck in Turkana also tree locusts infested on shrubs in Turkana threatening lives of animals.

 

"It's alarming danger of tree locusts to multiply as rains have been experienced in the region. We have to go back and assess the situation again in areas that locusts are intense and see how we can purchase chemicals for spray," Aletia said.