Economy

Officials say locusts threat to livestock as spraying begins

locust

The government has begun the aerial spraying in Wajir amid fears that the invasion of the desert locusts could adversely affect livestock production. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The government has begun the aerial spraying in Wajir amid fears that the invasion of the desert locusts could adversely affect livestock production.
  • The aerial spray comes as a relief to the residents of northern Kenya who had resorted to desperate measures in repelling the pests that are threatening food security in the region.
  • According to Hassan Gure, an official from the county Department of Agriculture, the first phase of spraying was carried out in Wajir South targeting the colony of locusts that had settled in an area around Wajir-Garissa border.

The government has begun the aerial spraying in Wajir amid fears that the invasion of the desert locusts could adversely affect livestock production.

The aerial spray comes as a relief to the residents of northern Kenya who had resorted to desperate measures in repelling the pests that are threatening food security in the region.

According to Hassan Gure, an official from the county Department of Agriculture, the first phase of spraying was carried out in Wajir South targeting the colony of locusts that had settled in an area around Wajir-Garissa border.

The second phase targeted a colony of desert locusts which invaded the county via Diff, an area between the Kenya-Somalia border.

Mr Gure said even as the exercise continues another colony of locusts — way larger than the first current group — is migrating into Ashabito ward, Mandera.

In Nairobi, Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai warned of hard times ahead for livestock farmers following the invasion of the locusts from Ethiopia.

“Animals will suffer as the vegetation that is just recovering from drought is now being damaged by these insects,” he said.

His agriculture counterpart Hamadi Boga said the national team sent to the region to undertake aerial spraying were split into two groups yesterday, one group proceeding to mobilise the ground team in Moyale, Marsabit while the other team continues with survey and control in Wajir.

On Saturday, State spokesman Cyrus Oguna said 3,000 litres of pesticides had been acquired to help in getting rid of the flying pests which invaded the country from both Somalia and Ethiopia.

Wajir and Marsabit counties have been worst hit by the locusts menace. Also affected is Garissa County.