Panic as locusts now invade Kitui, Baringo counties

Panic as locusts now invade Kitui, Baringo counties

Residents from Kitui and Baringo are an anxious lot after locusts invaded several parts of the counties.

Areas affected in Kitui are Tsekuru, Ngomeni, Kyuso, Matooni; Kathaalani Mukumanza as well as Kavaani.

“A team from the Desert Locusts Monitoring unit has been dispatched from Nairobi to spray the locusts,” Kitui Deputy Governor Dr. Wathe Nzau said on Wednesday.

Other officials from the Kitui Agriculture Ministry have arrived at the affected areas ahead of the Nairobi team to help with logistics.

According to Dr. Nzau, the spraying exercise will be completed before noon.

In Baringo, the locusts were spotted in Tirioko ward, Tiaty Sub County.

Matthew Lokwete, a resident, said he saw the swarm of locusts on Sunday at around 10am.

“It appeared like a dark cloud in the sky over Chepukana hill and when they landed in the village it was difficult to walk because they settled all over the ground. They also covered the trees,” he lamented.

Mr. Sam Lokales, area MCA Tirioko Ward urged the national government to intervene and control the situation.

On Tuesday, Baringo county and national surveillance team confirmed the presence of desert locusts at Mt Tiaty in Tirioko area of East Pokot Sub County.

Led by Captain Cheruiyot, they conducted an aerial surveillance and spotted locusts Kalpesa, Mkochepleng and Kaapelow.

There are fears that the locusts could settle and start breeding thus causing even more devastation to pastoralists and farmers.

“Spraying will start once the national surveillance team sent by the ministry of agriculture complete mapping of the area and putting in place appropriate logistics necessary to carry out the exercise,” the officer said.

On Monday, the insects were also spotted at a farm in Juja, Kiambu County.

Report by Shadrack Ilava, Bennadine Tiemoi and KNA

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