Aerial spraying of desert locusts in Wajir County begins

Locusts sit in trees in in Gurar, Wajir North.
Locusts sit in trees in in Gurar, Wajir North. The colonies of locusts have invaded the northern counties after migrating from Ethiopia and Somalia. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NMG 

The government has finally begun the long-awaited aerial spraying of desert locusts in Wajir County in an effort to contain the insects that have wreaked havoc across the northern region.

This comes as a relief to the residents who had resorted to desperate measures to repel the pests that are threatening food security in the region.

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

The spraying began at around 6.30am on Monday and ended at around 9am.

It again resumed in the afternoon, this time targeting a new colony of desert locusts which invaded the country through Diff, an area that sits between the Kenya and Somalia border.


Mr Gure said that even as the spraying continues, another colony of locusts is reported to have migrated to Ashabito Ward in Mandera County.

Reports suggest that the new colony is way larger than the first group which had settled in the same area five days ago.

The spraying is expected to continue in the county for the next two to three days and is being complemented by ground support teams from both the county and the national governments.


Meanwhile, Wajir Deputy Governor Ahmed Muktar, who is in the team overseeing the spraying, warned the public to keep away from areas where the aerial spraying is ongoing to avoid contracting diseases.

"I call upon the residents to keep away from the areas where the exercise is ongoing as a precautionary measure for the sake of their health,” he said.

Mr Muktar said the county is co-ordinating with different intergovernmental and support teams to ensure success of the exercise.


On Saturday, Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna assured the residents that the pesticides do not pose any threat to their health if used according to the guidelines.

Mr Oguna further said that 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, Mandera and Marsabit counties have been the worst hit by the locusts menace.

Garissa County also joined the list after the desert locusts migrated there from Wajir.