At least 90% of locust nymphs have been eradicated through motorized spraying in a bid to clear the deadly pests in Kitui County and the affected areas in the Country.
Kitui County Deputy Governor Dr. Wathe Nzau, who is coordinating the spraying efforts noted that the County has purchased more pesticides since the dreaded pests left behind a trail of millions of eggs being hatched.
“We have mapped the locusts’ breeding grounds particularly in Tseikuru, Mumooni, Kyuso and adjacent remote villages. Our team, together with the community surveillance teams are further mapping out new and existing breeding areas of the pests,” said Dr Wathe.
Commenting on the urgency of emergency resources to counter the locusts’ invasion, Dr Wathe said that if more aggressive control measures are not implemented soon, the insects will continue to multiply and consequently, the need for aid could rise considerably.
“Desert locusts live for about three months. After a generation matures, the adults lay their eggs which, under the right conditions, can hatch to form a new generation up to 20 times larger than the previous one,” he said.
Kitui County government has embarked on motorized spraying to augment the efforts of the National Government’s aerial spraying. The focus, according to Dr. Wathe, is now on the hatched nymphs, with a determination to ensure that the locusts are eradicated completely in the County.
In Kitui, this exercise is being carried out by 100 National Youth Servicemen and several community volunteers.
The locust invasion is the biggest in Ethiopia and Somalia in 25 years, and the biggest in Kenya in 70 years, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The government has set aside Sh 230 million for the campaign of spraying locusts spearheaded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives.