REMARKABLE PROGRESS

Locust invasion will be contained by mid-April — Oguna

FAO April bulletin revealed that 1,184 hectares were treated against the locust invasion in March

In Summary

• The UN has projected that with rainfall, residual swarms may mature and lay eggs in the Northern areas of Marsabit, Turkana and Samburu counties.

• The first swarms crossed in November 2020 and invaded nearby counties. A total of 25 counties had been infested by the pests in different magnitudes.

LOCUST INVASION MAP
LOCUST INVASION MAP
Image: FAO

The locust invasion will have been effectively contained by mid-April, Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna has said.

However, the UN has projected that with rainfall, residual swarms may mature and lay eggs in the Northern areas of Marsabit, Turkana and Samburu counties.

According to UN-Food and Agriculture Organisation, this may occur during the first half of April, giving rise to small hoppers by early May.

FAO desert locust April bulletin revealed that 1,184 hectares were treated against the locust invasion in March of which 671 were by air spray.   

FAO indicated that during March, swarms remained immature for lack of rainfall and that most of them were present in Nakuru and Baringo and to a lesser extent in parts of Samburu, Marsabit and Kajiado.

“Although many swarms were reported more than once, their total number and size steadily declined. Swarms were reported in 12 counties in the first week compared to three counties by the end of the month. Control operations also declined as fewer targets were present,” UN locust update showed.

The first swarms crossed in November 2020 and invaded nearby counties. A total of 25 counties had been infested by the pests in different magnitudes.

Oguna said during phase two of the locust invasion, a few swarms crossed into Kenya from neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia, and over a period of time, multiplied to 203.

He said there has been remarkable progress made with the containment efforts against locust invasion.

“Control and containment efforts by the government in collaboration with the county governments and other Development Partners such as FAO, DLCEO, World Bank, among others, have managed to reduce the swarms to only three.”

“These have split into small swarmlets which are currently concentrated around Gilgil and Elburgon in Nakuru,” Oguna said.

He said efforts continue to be applied to ensure that the last of the swarmlet is contained. Ogun said farmers across the areas previously infested with the pest can plant their crops as previously advised by the government.

 

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris