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Deadly desert locusts invade Kenya leaving a trail of destruction

Kenya invaded by deadly desert locusts from Somalia

Dec 30th 2019 ยท 2 min read
Deadly desert locusts invade Kenya leaving a trail of destruction

Wajir and Mandera Counties are on the receiving end of the desert locusts which migrated from Somalia.

According to residents, the locusts entered Kenya from the eastern side of Somalia and settled in Kotulo area, Wajir County around 4:30 pm on Sunday.

So desperate is the situation that some residents have also employed reading of the Quran to clear the area of the pests.

A deadly swarms of desert locusts has invaded parts of northern Kenya leaving a trail of destruction and desperation.

Wajir and Mandera Counties are on the receiving end of the desert locusts which migrated from Somalia.

According to residents, the locusts entered Kenya from the eastern side of Somalia and settled in Kotulo area, Wajir County around 4:30 pm on Sunday.

Fearing for their lives, the residents who rely on pastoralism are trying their best to get rid of the pests by use of localised methods including shouting, hooting vehicles and striking metal objects to scare them away.

A desert locust can consume roughly its own weight in fresh food per day, therefore they are known to literally wipe out vast grasslands within a blink of an eye.

Wajir County Department of Agriculture say about 15-30 kilometres of the entire area visited by residents on Monday morning had been affected by the pests leaving the area without a single vegetation.

"All the grass, shrubs and leaves from trees in the area have been wiped out by the locusts,"

So desperate is the situation that some residents have also employed reading of the Quran to clear the area of the pests.

"For now, we are using what we have at our disposal but a more efficient method needed to be put in place including use of aerial spraying," Hassan Gure, an official from the Wajir County Department of Agriculture said, Daily Nation reported.

According to reports on the ground, another swarm of locusts was reported to have crossed into the country from Ethiopia two days ago before settling in Elwak-Somalia but was successfully repelled by residents before migrating to the south along the border of Kenya and Somalia.

The third batch is said to be migrating from Mandera North and has moved past river Daawa and settled in Dhaamdintu area.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Early this month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that desert locusts which had hit Ethiopia and Somalia would spread to other Eastern Africa countries including Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and South Sudan if early and sustained measures are not taken.

"We need to act fast and mobilise the required resources urgently to scale up control and preventive measures," FAO Ethiopia representative Fatouma Seid said.

In some parts of Ethiopia, farmers reported that the flying pests had decimated nearly 100 per cent of their crops.

last updated: 2019-12-31@02:12