KENYA: LOCUST SWARM THREATENS FOOD INSECURITY

Swarms of desert locusts have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into eastern and northern Kenya.

The locusts started crossing into Kenya towards the end of December, 2019 destroying pastures in semi-arid counties mainly occupied by herder communities.

They have since spread to the counties of Garissa, Isiolo and Samburu to the south and west.

“We recognize that the pest invasion, and the potential to spread rapidly to other counties pose unprecedented threat to food security and livelihood in the country,” said Minister of Agriculture, Mwangi Kiunjuri.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stipulated that while swarms of locusts in Somalia are expected to mature and breed there this month, there is a low risk that those in Kenya would breed.

 “There is also a risk that swarms could move into Kenya’s neighbors Uganda and South Sudan” said FAO.

Last month, the FAO said locusts had already destroyed over 70,000 hectares of farmland in Somalia and Ethiopia, also threatening food supplies in both countries in the worst locust invasion in 70 years.

Chaos in  Somalia has made spraying of pesticide by airplane which the FAO considered to be the “ideal control measure”  impossible.

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