FAO warns of second wave of Desert locust attack in Kenya

FAO warns of second wave of Desert locust attack in Kenya
Residents stand next to dead locusts after they were sprayed in front of their house in Jawaha village near Kamise town Amhara region, Ethiopia October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of a second wave of Desert locust attack in Kenya in December.

Deputy Country Representative at United Nations Hamisi Williams said Samburu and other neighbouring counties may experience serious devastation.

“Locusts are breeding in Ethiopia, and the winds from the North to the South will blow the locusts to the country around December,” Mr Williams said.

Experts led Kenyata University’s Dr Evelyne Namikoye say the eggs laid by the locusts in the first wave of attack are now hatching, and swarms have already been spotted in Samburu and Turkana in the past two weeks

Dr Namikoye said the current weather conditions among other factors are behind the return of the locusts.

On Friday, Prof. Hamadi Iddi Bogathe, the principal secretary of the State Department for Agricultural Research in the Ministry of Agriculture said the government has plans in place to control the locusts once the swarms attack the country.

“We are aware of the second attack in mid-December, we have enough pesticides, equipment and personnel to handle the second wave,” Prof. Hamadi said.

In early March this year, Kenya experienced the worst locust attack in 7 years; herds were devastated and crops destroyed across the country.

In some parts of Isiolo, locusts devastated farms, eating everything in their wake with FAO sounding alarm on the unprecedented food security threat.

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Story By Simiyu Wanjala
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