Kenya to be locust-free by October – officials

Kenya will be locust-free in the next two months after intensified spraying in the Turkana and Samburu counties, the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary (CS), Peter Munya has said.

Addressing the press Sunday afternoon in Maralal town Samburu County after meeting with agriculture stakeholders, Munya said that all other counties were locust-free except few swarms remaining in Samburu and Turkana counties.

The CS confirmed that apart from ground spraying, a helicopter and a fixed-wing plane have been stationed in Samburu County for aerial spraying in the affected areas of Samburu East and Samburu North sub-counties.

“At the peak of the invasion, 27 counties were affected but due to government and stakeholders’ efforts, only a few swarms are remaining in Samburu and Turkana counties and we are intensifying ground and aerial sprays to get rid of them in the next two months,” Munya said.

The CS pointed out that the reason why locusts were still in Samburu was because of the remote and rough terrain in the infested areas coupled with insecurity in Suguta valley in Samburu North.

Munya added that his ministry was expecting a report from the Kenya Red Cross on the extent of destruction in Samburu County that would help the national government to set aside funds to cushion herders who have been affected.

The CS assured Kenyans that the country now has enough capacity and strengthened institutions to contain locusts in the event of another invasion.