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Editorial
A locust invasion from Somalia hit Kenya in December last year and has so far caused destruction to vegetation in 18 counties.

Despite assurance from Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, the locust menace is far from being brought under control.

A locust invasion from Somalia hit Kenya in December last year and has so far caused destruction to vegetation in 18 counties.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that areas devastated by the locust invasion constitute 75 per cent of our total land mass. For a country whose economy is largely driven by agricultural production, this is appalling, a threat to our food security status.

According to Munya, the remaining swarms of locusts are found in Turkana County and parts of Central Kenya. However, the erratic supply of the insecticide required for their effective control claws back all efforts to contain the insects.

SEE ALSO: Focus energies on locust invasion, governors urge State

There is more danger, indeed far worse than what has already been witnessed if the nymphs and hoppers that have hatched reach maturity and take to the air.

FAO has warned that this could happen in April, unless drastic action is undertaken now. While we laud the government for measures put in place to contain the invasion so far, there is the feeling it could have done better.

Aerial spraying was not only delayed from the outset, every now and then the relevant ministry has run out of the requisite insecticide. By now, the need to eschew red tape in procurement of the insecticide should have been apparent. Reliably, the only effective insecticide can be sourced from Japan.

Countries hard hit by the locust invasion; Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda, have resorted to individual methods of fighting the insects, but clearly, these disjointed efforts could be their undoing.

At this point, concerted and centralised control efforts by the affected countries could post better results.

SEE ALSO: East Africa locust swarms gather as pandemic delays pesticides


Locust Invasion Agriculture CS Peter Munya