FAO Warns Kenya Of Second Wave Of Locust Invasion From December

A locust feeds on vegetation|COURTESY

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,22ND NOV,2020-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) now says that control operations are underway against small hopper bands that are forming from local breeding in Samburu County, signaling a second wave of locust invasion in the country.

In a statement, FAO said although some of the swarm-lets that arrived in Kenya may have already laid eggs in southern Somalia before their arrival, there remains a risk of further egg-laying in sandy areas of Northeastern Kenya where recent rains have fallen.

“Breeding continues in central Somalia and eastern Ethiopia where hopper bands are present, and a new generation of immature swarms will start forming by the end of this month. Swarm formation will continue throughout December because of widespread hatching and band formation that occurred this past week,” part of the statement read.

Further, the organization added, hatching and hopper band formation can be expected in early December and called on the government to take measures to control the locusts which are harmful to crops and may interfere with food security.

“From the second week of December onwards, several waves of numerous swarms can be expected to move south in Somalia and Ethiopia, reaching northern Kenya,” FAO stated.

On Saturday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the government has plans in place to control the locusts once the swarms attack the country.

“Locusts are breeding in Ethiopia.  It is projected that they might cross into Kenya around December. We are aware and therefore, prepared for the second attack. We have enough pesticides, equipment, and personnel to handle the second wave,” Munya said.

In early March, Kenya and a number of countries in the horn of Africa including Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda experienced the worst locust attack in seven years.

The Invasion affected 28 counties.

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