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Swarms of locusts perched on vegetation in Kitui.

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Munya says efforts underway to eradicate locusts

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21- The government has expressed optimism of eradicating the locusts’ menace.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said that 80 percent of the locust swarms that invaded the country during the second wave have so been treated and surveillance was underway to combat the rest.

He said that of the 75 swarms that have been identified, 66 of them have been treated.

Munya further announced that 15 counties were affected including Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Lamu, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Mandera, Machakos, Kitui, Isiolo, Samburu, Laikipia, Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties.

“So far, the total number of swarms that settled in the Country between November 2020 and January 2021 are 75 out of which 66 have been treated reflecting a total area of 19,100 hectares. The exercise has thus largely been successful,” Munya said.

Munya pointed out that 9 sprayer aircrafts have been deployed in different Counties which are adversely affected while 500 National Youth Service (NYS) personnel have been trained to help on ground control of the locusts.

“There are sufficient control pesticides both at the headquarters and all the field control bases to handle the desert locust invasion. Where necessary will purchase more,” said Munya.

Additionally, 21 vehicles mounted with sprayers for ground control operations in the various bases.   

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The second wave started last year in November.

In March last year, Kenya and a number of countries in the horn of Africa including Ethiopia, Somalia and Uganda experienced the worst locust attack in seven years.

The first wave affected over 30 counties in Kenya with most of them being the Arid and Semi- Arid ones.  

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