× Business BUSINESS MOTORING SHIPPING & LOGISTICS DR PESA FINANCIAL STANDARD Digital News Videos Health & Science Lifestyle Opinion Education Columnists Moi Cabinets Arts & Culture Fact Check Podcasts E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Kenya braces for return of devastating locust swarms

By Reuters | January 20th 2021
Locust swarms first soared in number in late 2019. [Reuters]

Swarms of desert locusts have reappeared in East Africa to the dismay of farmers and villagers who witnessed them wreak havoc on their crops and pasture in previous years.

Locust swarms first soared in number in late 2019, as a result of unusual weather patterns amplified by climate change. They dispersed eastwards from Yemen leaving Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia hardest hit.

“In Kenya, several immature swarms are arriving every day and spreading west throughout northern and central areas,” the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement.

“Swarms have now been seen in seven counties ... compared to four last week. A few swarms are starting to mature.”

News of the swarms has left people resorting to any measures they can to get rid of them.

A Samburu man attempts to fend-off a swarm of desert locusts flying over grazing land in Lemasulani village, Samburu County, Kenya January 17, 2020. [Njeri Mwangi, Reuters]

One farmer in Marsabit in northern Kenya tried to chase a swarm of locusts from his land by banging a stick against a jerry can, causing clouds of insects to swarm around him as they briefly flew off from his crops.

“He was trying to chase them... we helped him, but it was too much,” Ilias Iman Abdulkadir, a senior project officer at Catholic Relief Services based in Marsabit, told Reuters.

Abdulkadir said the situation was similar in the rest of Marsabit.

“The first wave just passed around the town, but this one actually came within the town, almost everyone came to see, people were very much scared,” he said.

The swarms are not limited to Kenya. Immature hoppers have also hatched in Ethiopia and Somalia.

“In the Horn of Africa, aerial and ground control operations continue against highly mobile swarms in Ethiopia and Kenya, and hopper bands and mature swarms in northern Somalia,” FAO said. 


Share this story
Nairobi, Nakuru and Kiambu winners in new CRA formula
Even with the coming to effect of the third generation formula that caused an impasse in the Senate last year, no county will lose funds
Dog walking becomes the newest hustle in town
Dog walking is now a status symbol. Owning a pet is cool. I nowadays meet lots of Kenyans and foreigners walking their dogs and some running.