Farmers in Embu are racing against time to harvest their crops after locusts were sighted in the area.
Anxious residents of Kiambere Ward, Mbeere South Constituency, have started harvesting their crops, especially at night, after a swarm of desert locusts landed in the area Friday evening.
The insects entered the county from the neighbouring Kitui County and landed in Issako. By Saturday, they had spread further to Kiambere Hills, Karura and Gwa Karigu.
Locals say in just two hours, the locusts had covered five kilometres heading to the interior of Embu.
After sighting them, leaders sent an alert to residents who immediately moved to their farms and harvested the almost mature millet, sorghum, cow peas and other drought-resilient crops grown in the semi-arid constituency.
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Area MP Geoffrey Kingi’ang’i said the affected region was expecting a bumper harvest of those crops following sufficient rains last season.
Mr Kingi’ang’i said the locusts invasion was reported to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya who directed an aircraft to be deployed to spray the swarm.
“Our fear is that the locusts keep on moving and might reach muguka-growing areas and ravage the crop which is the economic mainstay for many,” he said.
The UN has called for international help to fight huge swarms of desert locusts sweeping through east Africa.