EIGHT COUNTIES AFFECTED

State releases Sh230 million to help control desert locusts

CS Munya says through the concerted efforts, they have been able to control two of the seven locusts swarms.

In Summary

• An additional 20,000 litres of control pesticides to be purchased.

• 145 officers from the eight counties have been trained and deployed to do surveillance and monitoring of the pests,

Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
Agriculture CS Peter Munya.
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The Ministry of Agriculture has received Sh230 million to help control a desert locust invasion currently in eight counties. 

Agriculture CS Peter Munya said the cash will be used to hire three more spray aircrafts to cover Garissa, Marsabit and Mandera counties.

Munya said the government will also deploy three surveillance helicopters from the Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Wildlife Services from today (Thursday).

 

He spoke yesterday at Kilimo house during his first media briefing on desert locust invasion in the country immediately after taking over the Agriculture docket.

The locust swarms started crossing the border into Kenya from Ethiopia and Somalia on December 28.

The invasion has so far been confirmed in Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Meru, Samburu and Laikipia counties.

The government has been using two aircrafts from the Desert Locust Control Organisation of Eastern Africa to spray the locusts devastating vegetation everywhere they land.

“The aircrafts have undertaken aerial control of seven locusts swarms in Dulgub, Habaswein, Lakdima, Rhamu and Masaleand Bermu in Wajir County and Kachiuru in Meru County,” Munya said.

The CS confirmed that so far the government has availed 4,700 litres of chemicals to Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera and Isiolo.

“There will be a distribution of additional 20,000 litres of control pesticides and continuous capacity building of county field officers. A total of 145 officers from the eight counties have been trained and deployed to do surveillance and monitoring of the pests,” he said.

 

Munya said through the concerted efforts, they have been able to control two of the seven locusts swarms that have been sighted across the affected areas.

“I assure Kenyans that the government is in control of the situation as most of the swarms have been controlled. The remaining five swarms are being monitored very closely,” Munya said.

On Monday, the UN- Food and Agriculture Organisation January desert locust situation update indicated that the desert locusts could be heading to Baringo and Turkana counties.

But the CS, however, said that so far, the locusts have been reported in only the eight counties.