Government Forms An Impact Assessment Team To Evaluate Locust Damage
Farmers affected by the locust invasion may have a reason to smile after the government launched an impact assessment team to evaluate the damage the pest has caused in various Counties.
While launching the project, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya noted that the report they get will provide a direction that the government will pursue to extend support to the affected communities.
The assessment funded by Food Agriculture Authority (FAO) will be carried out by Red Cross and will look at the areas affected, the acreage affected, the people affected and also the effects on livelihood so that the government can make decisions on what recovery efforts are needed to rebuild what farmers have lost.
“Most communities mainly in the Arid and Semi-arid areas have been complaining of loss of livestock because the vegetation has been depleted by the pests,” Munya said.
Dr. Tobias Takavarasha, FAO Country Representative who was in the same meeting said the fight against hunger has been facing drawbacks from desert locust attacks noting there is need for scientific data for any useful interventions to be done.
The Red Cross Secretary General, Dr. Asha Mohamed assured that the assessment will be done in 16 counties and that on June 15,2020, they will give a preliminary report before giving a final report on July 15, 2020.
“We will employ different methods, interviews of key informers, focus groups discussions at community level, desk review, and more importantly deploy technology where we will be using satellite imagery and drones for some areas that cannot be reached,” Dr. Mohammed said.
Based on past experience, Dr. Mohammed said that they have confidenceand capability to lead the team in actualizing the project and the report will enable Government mount a sustainable programme to fully tame the locusts.
The locust menace in the country had spread to 27 counties but efforts bythe government and development partners have yielded results as huge swarms have been contained in most regions except a few namely; Isiolo, Samburu, Marsabit, Turkana and parts of Lakipia.