Kenya says desert locust invasion under control amid timely mitigation measures

Photo taken on Feb. 4, 2020, shows a cloud of locusts flying in Mwingi North, Kenya. (Xinhua/Fred Mutune)

Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture said on Thursday that the second wave outbreak of desert locust’s invasion was under control thanks to timely roll-out of mitigation measures.

Peter Munya, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, said that there was no cause for alarm since the government preparedness for desert locust management had been greatly enhanced.

“The desert locust invasion has been reported in 15 counties in the coastal, northeastern, eastern and central Kenya but so far the counter operation has been successful,” Munya said at a briefing in Nairobi.

He said the second wave of desert locusts entered the country from Ethiopia and Somalia in mid-Nov. 2020.

“We have deployed nine surveillance and spray aircrafts and put another three aircrafts on standby,” said Munya.

He said the government has also deployed 21 vehicles mounted with sprayers for ground control operations in counties affected by desert locusts.

Munya said development partners had provided support in diverse areas like training of personnel, knowledge sharing, research, restoration of livelihoods, surveillance and control.

He said the government has trained more than 500 National Youth Service personnel who have been deployed in all fields countrywide.