No selfies — Agriculture CS Munya outlines how govt will deal with locusts

By Vincent Kejitan | Wednesday, Jan 15th 2020 at 15:16
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Newly appointed Agriculture CS Peter Munya has hit the ground running and has started by addressing the locust menace in the country.

Addressing members of the press on Wednesday, Munya reiterated that the government is in control of the situation and most of the swarms have been controlled.

“Regarding the locust invasion I wish to assure all that the Government is in control of the situation as most of the swarms have been controlled and the remaining five swarms are being monitored closely.

“However, Kenyans should remain vigilant and immediately report any new swarms sighted,” he said.

This comes just days after immediate former CS Mwangi Kiunjuri had asked the public to send pictures of insects they suspect to be locusts.

Kiunjuri added that once the photos had been positively identified the government would take appropriate action.

The locusts started crossing the border of Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya late last month. They have so far invaded eight counties of Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Garissa, Isiolo, Meru, Samburu and Laikipia.

There are no figures yet on the amount of destruction the locusts have occasioned in Kenya so far, but they have destroyed 175,000 acres of farmland in Somalia and Ethiopia according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The locust invasion is considered a disaster as they can cause widespread famine in a short time. Part of an average swarm can eat the same amount of food in one day as about 10 elephants, 25 camels, or 2,500 people, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory.

“The swarms of locusts are feeding in a non-discriminatory manner on the green matter. This will bring famine to both humans and animals,” said Timothy Munywoki, senior agronomist at Amiran Kenya Limited in charge of crop protection and product development.

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