Economy

World Bank, AfDB release Sh1.9bn for fighting locusts

locust

Locusts have invaded 20 counties in Kenya, threatening food security. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG

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Summary

  • The World Bank has given Kenya Sh1.4 billion while the AfDB is said to have released Sh500 million to the government, which is still scouting for additional funds to fight the migratory insects.

Kenya has got an additional Sh1.9 billion from international development financiers to fight locusts as the government classifies the invasion a crisis.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said all efforts were being to mobilise resources in the battle against the voracious insects that threaten food security.

“We have received Sh1.9 billion from the two institutions and this will go a long way in combating the locust menace,” said Mr Munya.

The World Bank has given Kenya Sh1.4 billion while the African Development Bank (AfDB) is said to have released Sh500 million to the government, which is still scouting for additional funds to fight the migratory insects.

The chairperson of the Agriculture Committee in the Council of Governors Muthomi Njuki said the fight against the locusts has become difficult because of the new swarms emerging from Somalia.

“As much as we are trying to contain the locusts here, there is another wave of insects coming in from the war-torn Somalia and Yemen, which is making it difficult to contain the situation,” said Mr Njuki.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) country representative Tobias Takavarasha said the East African region, which had jointly requested Sh13 billion, has so far received Sh10 billion.

“We had made an appeal for Sh13 billion from development partners but we have so far received Sh10 billion,” he said.

The locusts have so far crossed from Kenya to neighbouring countries of Tanzania and Uganda, further complicating food situation in the East African Community region.

Mr Munya was speaking Wednesday when he opened a desert locust menace sensitisation meeting targeting coming up with the mechanism that will help to control the insects that are fast spreading.

The insects, which have now been reported in 20 counties, have been spreading fast, leaving a trail of distraction.