Kenyans Warned To Brace For Locust Invasion From Christmas To New Year

December 8, 2020

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has warned that a second wave of desert locusts is likely to spread to more than 20 counties in Kenya by mid-December.

The UN agency says there will be an intense invasion of the locusts from mid-December stretching to January.

FAO says substantial breeding and large numbers of hopper bands continue to develop within a vast area of eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia before migrating into northern and central counties in Kenya.

According to Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga, young and ferocious desert locust swarms are expected in the Coast region by the end of the week.

Boga noted that mature swarms are currently in Lamu, Kilifi, upper parts of Kwale and Tana River counties.

“We expect the volume of the swarms to be bigger in this second invasion as older and mature swarms are already in the country. By the end of this week, younger swarms which are more ferocious in terms of feeding and mobility will start coming,” he said.

“We have been tracking the movement of the Desert locusts. The winds turned on November 9 and we saw locusts from the parts of Southern Somalia.

“Our focus had shown that probably there would be here in mid-December, but it looked like there were some swamps in Southern Somalia which no one was monitoring. So they passed through Wajir County, Kitui, Tana River and they are now in Taita Taveta County,” said Prof Hamadi.

The PS said that the government will be training teams in Kwale, Taita Taveta, Kilifi, Makueini and Kajiado to monitor and control the movement of the swarms.

“We know the biology of these creatures. In a bushy like terrain of Tsavo National Park, and the ecosystem around there, you can’t talk of vegetation devastation. The presence of the locusts in Taita Taveta County is a suicide mission for the locusts, because it’s a movement to nowhere. The terrain is not for their kind of habitat. Most likely they will die there,” Prof Boga explained.

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