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Locust invasion in Kitui, Machakos spells doom for farmers in eastern region  

The army of locust had prior to the invasion of Mwingi town stormed Mwingi North and Mwingi East/CFM

MACHAKOS, Kenya, Jan 28 – A swarm of locust sighted in parts of Kitui and Machakos has sparked panic among residents in the eastern region considered to be among Kenya’s food insecure areas.

The latest invasion was reported on Tuesday after a swarm of locusts landed in Mwingi town causing more panic.

The army of locust had prior to the invasion of Mwingi town stormed Mwingi North and Mwingi East.

Residents who spoke to Capital FM News expressed fear the dessert locusts could throw the country in food insecurity as they are destroying huge chunks of farmlands as they destroy food.

“When we thought we will have a bumper harvest, the locusts are here. They have destroyed a lot of food,” said Mutemi Munywoki, a Mwingi resident said.

“What is the government doing? Why is their pesticide not effective? These things are just migrating,” paused another farmer.

The locusts which first invaded parts of North Eastern Kenya have now stretched to Masinga in Machakos County where the first swarm of locusts landed in Kivaa Ward on Monday.

According to Machakos Agriculture County Executive Agriculture Ulbanus Musyoka Wambua, the swarm crossed over from Embu County and so far, has caused massive destruction on farmlands especially residents of Masaku and its environs.

On Tuesday morning a helicopter was dispatched to the area to conducting aerial spraying of the insects as the county government led another team in overseeing the extend the locusts had spread.

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This was after the Kenya plant protection services and the local government visited the affected area early Tuesday morning.

“The locusts were reported last evening and today an exercise of spraying had started, and we expect to give full report by the end,” he said.

He also said the county government had dispatched three vehicles to the border with Kitui for surveillance and monitoring in Masinga and Yatta.

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