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FAO cushions locals after locusts invasion

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has embarked on a livelihood recovery scheme to cushion Turkana residents who suffered devastating effects after locust invasion.

Swarms of locusts infested the region, ravaging approximately 462,000 hectares of crops and pasture for livestock.

The programme undertaken by the organisation in conjunction with the county administration is expected to boost locals’ livelihoods.

Lodwar FAO Field Office Head Dan Irura said the community will receive 5,000 bags of range cubes as well as mass deworming and parasite control of livestock.

“Also, 5,000 one-month-old improved indigenous chicken will be distributed as part of rebuilding capacity to the affected households,” said Irura Friday in Lodwar town during a two-day locust recovery programme workshop.

The workshop organised by FAO brought together stakeholders from the national and county governments as well as partner organisations operating in Turkana to conduct  joint planning and mapping out areas that were severely affected by desert locusts.

Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries executive Philip Aemun lauded efforts by FAO and Peace Wind Japan to combat the second generation wave of infestation of the locusts between May and June.

“The insects negatively affected the agro-pastoralist livelihoods by destroying crops, vegetation as well as increased cases of livestock diseases such as hemorrhagic septicemia after they ingested the pest droppings,” he stated.

The executive said locals will receive assortment of certified seeds, support on establishment of kitchen gardens and agri-nutrition training.

He called for increased ground surveillance on the locusts adding other recovery programmes by the county and other partners such as IRC to cushion households were being implemented.

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