The Government of Kenya in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have set aside Ksh 3.2 billion to deal with the second wave invasion of the desert locust in the country.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya while speaking in Naivasha during a consultative meeting said the government has managed to contain the first wave of the invasion which was first reported in December 2019 although there were few remnants in four counties.
The CS further said the government was now concentrating more in counties bordering Somalia saying studies had indicated that the destructive pests would invade the country from Central Somalia.
“Our projections are that the country will be hit by a second wave of desert locust invasion by mid-December and we have put in place measures to contain them,” said CS Munya.
He added that the ministry had activated all their bases in Wajir and sent more NYS personnel to conduct ground and aerial spraying using 216,000 litres of pesticide.
The CS at the same time assured farmers that there was nothing to worry about as the first invasion had prepared the government to deal with the pest.
Munya in his address also noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic early in the year had affected measures to contain the deadly pest with some counties yet to fully recover.
While thanking FAO for the continued support, Munya said that the fight against the pest would be won if all the neighbouring countries worked as one team.
“We now have the experience, capacity and enough pesticides to deal with the second wave if it hits us,” he said.
FAO Country Representative Carla Mucavi said that there was a plan of action and funds available to deal with the second wave with the locusts already spotted in Somali.
She added that FAO is committed to supporting the fight against the destructive pest to ensure the country’s food security.