News

Desert locusts spread across county

County Agriculture CEC Jackline Koin says she has stationed crop production officers across all areas for quick interventions

By Albert Lemomo

The Department of Agriculture in the Kajiado County Government has been asked to take swift action following an overnight invasion of desert locusts, a menace that has been ravaging many parts of the country.

According to the County Agriculture CEC Jackline Koin, the county has put adequate measures in place to cushion farmers and livestock keepers from losses on their farms and pasture.

“As a county, we are fully in control. We had set up a standby committee in order to mitigate the issue accordingly. We have already procured and dispatched 15 motorized sprayers, 30 knapsack sprayers and 300 litres of pesticides that shall be used on the ground as we await aerial spraying by the State Department of Agriculture once we give them the specific location coordinates in the coming days,” Koin said.

Furthermore, the CEC has stationed crop production officers across all areas for quick interventions.“We have dispatch teams of officers, especially crop experts, who are in touch with people on the ground to identify all the areas that are affected on time so that we can make quick interventions,” she said.

According to James Nailole, a herder, the menace is a disaster and a solution should be sought quickly.“In the past few months we have received enough rains that enabled our land to have enough vegetation for our livestock. We were hopeful that this time, we will rear our livestock calmly without the hustle of migrating to other places. With the invasion and the rate at which the locusts are feeding on vegetation, they pose a great danger.”

The affected areas include Malilima in Dalalekutuk Ward of Kikuro Location in Kajiado Central. The mid-sized swarm had covered a radius of 5 square km by the evening of February 10. Other areas that have been confirmed as having been invaded by February 11 are Matapato North, Lele, Meto, Olomunyi, Onkorika, and Elobirir. The locusts have spread across to areas of Kajiado East in Sholinke Location and moved further intoEseki, Noompopong, Olooitikoshi and Oldonyo Lodge in Imbirikani area of Kajiado South.

The county government has also formed a partnership with other neighbouring counties of Narok, Makueni, Machakos, Kitui and Taita Taveta to fight and alleviate the threat of the desert locust.

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