Declare locust invasion a national disaster

Kenya Farmers Federation North Eastern branch vice chair, Dubat Amey now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare the desert locust invasion in parts of the country a national disaster.

At the same time Amey has urged the international organizations among them FAO, IGAD and European Union to assist the government in containing the spread of the dreaded locusts.

We are urging the government to embark on a massive aerial spraying of the locust before they spread to neighbouring counties, Amey said.

We are starring at a massive food shortage in the country if the locust invade the rich agricultural regions of this country. The invasion is no longer a ministerial affair but a national concern, he added.

Addressing the press in Garissa town Tuesday, Amey termed the locust a menace that was not only destructive to the environment but wipe out farmlands.

These are insects that can quickly turn a country into a desert if action is not taken, he noted.

Dubat said already the locusts have been spotted in Isiolo, Turkana, Samburu and Baringo counties and now threatens so spread southwards.

Soon they could reach the Kenya’s bread basket counties of Trans-Nzoia and Uasin Gishu. This is a threat to the food security of this country, Amey said, adding, Locust are a major threat to food security and could adversely impact on the livelihood of farmers.

A desert locust adult can consume roughly its own weight in fresh food per day, which is about 3 grams every day. An average swarm of locust weigh about one ton and eat the same amount of food in a day that translates to about 10 elephants, or 25 camels or 2,500 people. They are grasshopper species that generate devastating swarms.

Source: Kenya News Agency