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Battle against swarms of locusts in three North Eastern counties begins

A desert locust invasion is likely to cause incalculable green vegetation loss – FAO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 4 – The battle against swarms of locusts in three North Eastern counties is expected to begin today after government decided to start aerial pesticide spraying in a bid to salvage the crops in the region.

Government Spokesman Retired Colonel Cyrus Oguna told a news conference that the government has deployed special teams to start the aerial spraying in the affected counties of Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera.

“We wish to assure the public that the Government is in full in control of the situation and hence there should be no cause for alarm,” he said.

He affirmed the government is monitoring the locusts migratory pattern to ensure they do not spread to other parts of the country.

“The situation has been contained and all farmers and the general public should go about their nation building activities as normal, this includes taking the children to school on Monday,” Oguna said.

Head of Plant Protection in Ministry of Agriculture, David Mwangi has said that the chemicals to be used have been tested, registered and authorized for the control of locusts, to ensure that they are not harmful if used according to the guidelines.

He further underscored that the infestation will not spread as they intend to contain the situation. “Ground support control teams who have undergone training are already in place and they have been provided with protective gear for use during the exercise,” he said.

A week ago, Northern Kenya leaders gathered in Nairobi to demand action from the government following the invasion of the desert locusts that was threatening the regions food security.

This was after an earlier warning by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) that there would be desert locust invasion, which had hit Ethiopia and Somalia, would spread to other East Africa countries.

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The Government says it is committed to ensuring that the situation is contained and does not in any affect the other counties.

“We therefore wish to assure Kenyans that the situation will not escalate any further, and therefore there should be no cause for alarm,” Oguna said.

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