The Second Invasion By Desert Locusts Under Control, CS Munya Says
Kenya is winning the fight against the second wave of desert locusts with the government saying the situation is now under control.
Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said the joint effort between various government agencies and non-state partners has continued to record remarkable results with a success of about 90 per cent.
The CS, however, expressed concern over efforts being made by neighbouring countries in tackling the migratory pests adding that the operation need be regional if the locusts were to be effectively contained.
“The containment measures within the country are in top gear, but there are still fears over efforts being made in some of the neighbouring countries since the migratory pests do not respect boundaries,” he said.
Addressing journalists in Isiolo after a tour of Laikipia, Meru and Isiolo counties to assess the progress of the ongoing fumigation exercise at the weekend, the CS said discussions were ongoing to ensure a more robust response from everyone.
“Collaboration between neighbouring countries in the horn of Africa is of paramount importance and it is being coordinated at Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) level,” he said.
At the same time, Munya warned that the dreaded desert locusts were defying scientific conclusions by thriving in very cold places and others seen to fly over high altitudes, an unusual occurrence according to experts.
“It is worrying that swarms of the destructive insects have now invaded cold places such as Kangaita in Mt Kenya forest, and Nyambene hills in Meru county, although experts had earlier indicated that the desert locusts can only thrive in warm places,” he said.
He, however, added that the government was committed to going to any level, intensifying the control measures to ensure the pests are eradicated.
Munya, at the same time, warned members of the public against consuming insects that had been killed by pesticides as it could be dangerous to their health.
He advised those in Laikipia that are collecting the dead pests and crushing them to make fish food to wait for at least five days for the toxic chemical concentration to decrease before using the protein-rich insects.