Kenya says it is facing an “unprecedented threat” from desert locusts in its worst invasion for 70 years.
Swarms of the insects have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia and are threatening food production and grazing land, said Kenya’s agriculture minister, Mwangi Kiunjuri.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said last month that the species of grasshopper had already destroyed more than 175,000 acres of farmland in Somalia and Ethiopia, posing the worst threat for seven decades.
Image: The desert locusts cold move into Uganda and South Sudan
Because much of Somalia is engulfed in conflict, spraying pesticides from the air has become impossible, the agency added.
There is a risk that the swarms could move into Kenya’s neighbours Uganda and South Sudan, the FAO said.
The locusts crossed into Kenya a few days after Christmas and have spread to the counties of Garissa, Isiolo and Samburu to the south and west, Mr Kiunjuri said.
“We recognise that the pest invasion, and the potential to spread rapidly to other counties poses an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihood in the country,” he commented.
The FAO said that while locusts are expected to breed in Somalia this month, there is less chance of that happening in Kenya.
Source : Sky News