Experts warn of East Africa's re-invasion of locusts, says the destruction will be 20 times worse

By Nzioka Justin | Monday, Apr 6th 2020 at 12:52
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Anytime soon, East Africa, Kenya included, is likely to face a second wave of locusts' invasion. According to the experts, this time around, the menace could be 20 times its initial invasion.

Set to invade from May, the invasion will be descendants of the first generation. It is reported that the already laid eggs will have been hatched into nymphs and hoppers.

"The first generation of locust is now breeding; they've laid eggs. They will be hatching into nymphs and hoppers," stated Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) representative in Kenya, Mr. Tobias Takavarasha.

Scientists have warned that the swarms might shoot to 400 times bigger by June, if not done away with. Mr. Tobias stated that this was the right time to battle the invasion before the next planting season.

Over 20 Kenyan Counties have already been invaded in the initial invasion. These include Machakos, Makueni, Turkana, Wajir, Garissa, Meru, Mandera, Kitui, Kajiado, Laikipia, Baringo, Isiolo, Murang'a, Samburu, and Embu.

FAO has expressed concerns that rains experienced late last month, could encourage breeding. Currently, new swarms are forming in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. Kenya could be the worst-hit now that the Somalia swarms might enter into the country any time soon. The report is according to East Africa's Desert Locust Control Organization (DLCO-EA).

Already the premature swarms in northern and central counties in Kenya are developing and approaching the reproduction stage. This reproduction comes exactly at the same time when long rains are expected, thus the planting season.

This poses a great risk to food security, given the current COVID-19 crisis. East Africa's DLCO director Mr. Njoka has pledged that they are working towards curbing any further destruction.

Over 20 million population from Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are staring at starvation if the situation is not dealt with urgently. A sum of Sh16.2 billion is also urgently required for rapid response in the already affected ten nations.

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