LOCUST MENACE

Second invasion: Locust swarms spreading in Northern, Central Kenya regions - FAO

Update shows the swarms have now spread to seven counties from four last week.

In Summary

• The locusts have been reported in Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo and Meru counties.

• The UN stated that conditions remain dry in some areas and the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern Ethiopia and north-central Kenya.

Desert locusts invasion in Samburu County. The second locust invasion in Kenya has now infested seven counties from four Counties reported last week.
Desert locusts invasion in Samburu County. The second locust invasion in Kenya has now infested seven counties from four Counties reported last week.
Image: MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE

Several immature swarms of locusts are arriving every day and spreading throughout parts of northern Kenya and central areas, UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation has said.

The organisation's locust watch update shows that the swarms have now spread to seven counties from four last week.

The locusts have been reported in Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo and Meru counties.

"A few swarms are starting to mature. In the southeast, hopper bands are present near Taita Taveta County and on the coast that could form swarms shortly," says FAO.

The UN stated that conditions remain dry in some areas and the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern Ethiopia and north-central Kenya.

"Any rainfall that occurs in the coming weeks will cause swarms to mature and lay eggs. These will hatch and give rise to hopper bands during February and March," said FAO.

The government last month said it has 321,340 litres of pesticides to control the second wave of desert locusts invasion.

Desert locusts invasion in Samburu County. The second locust invasion in Kenya has now infested seven counties from four Counties reported last week.
Desert locusts invasion in Samburu County. The second locust invasion in Kenya has now infested seven counties from four Counties reported last week.
Image: MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said the pesticides include 286,040 litres at seven control bases and 35,300 litres at the main store in the Plant Protection Services Division.

Boga said base managers and support personnel have already been redeployed to their respective stations.

However, the PS said the second wave is likely to be more damaging.

Boga said they have also deployed surveillance and control teams in the affected counties which include two surveillance helicopters and three spray aircraft.