A new generation of desert locusts has hatched in Turkana and the young insects are eating everything in sight, Reuters report.
According to reports, more than 200 hopper bands which were yellow and wingless two weeks ago have hatched and took to the skies on Friday and Saturday. When their wings mature the swarms will be able to travel up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) in a day.
The hatchings have coincided with the planting season in a region where 20 million people struggle for food.
“The locusts have come to destabilise an already bad situation,” said Daniel Kirura, head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Turkana.
“Within one week they may mature to swarms that can be able to travel up to 80 miles a day. So our prayer is that we try to control them before they can go and cause problems in other countries and other regions. So, our wish is to control them before they leave Turkana county,” he added.
Farmers in the region are already counting losses as the insects descend on large tracts of grazing fields for their livestock and farms especially along River Turkwel.
“These are the tomatoes that have been eaten by the locusts, and in the entire farm if you go around if the farmers go round or anyone can go round, you will find that almost all the tomatoes have been destroyed in this shape,” said Victor Juma.
“These things that jump up and down came here two days ago and have eaten all the trees. They have even finished grass for the goats,” Michael told Reuters.
Farmer Christopher Lotit added: “They have destroyed our maize, pawpaw tree, so they have given us a hard time. Because they do not like noise, we use noise to get rid of them.”
The locals said they beat tin drums to scare away the desert locusts.