State to aerial-spray locusts in northern counties, says Oguna
The government is set to commence aerial spraying of locusts in all affected counties.
Government Spokesperson Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna said on Saturday during a media briefing the State has acquired aerial spraying capability and the aircraft to be used will be located in Wajir .
“We have been monitoring the locust situation which is a threat to food security. Initially the threat emanated from across the border with the government establishing the locust threat as early as November last year,” he said.
He added that the insects crossed the border into Kenya from El-Wak on December 28, last year and have since spread to the northern region of the country affecting Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera counties.
Oguna said President Uhuru Kenyatta has been fully briefed about the situation and had directed relevant ministries, agencies and authorities to deal with the situation as quickly as possible.
“A meeting under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of Government attended by various agencies and locust control bodies in East Africa and UN affiliated organisations was held today to determine the progress of the President’s directive to deal with the situation,” said Oguna.
He added that the government has dispatched ground locust support teams to undertake surveys and guide aerial spraying teams.
“Some 3, 000 litres of chemicals for spraying on the locusts were acquired last week and have been dispatched to the affected counties,” said Oguna, adding that distribution of hand-held sprayers and protective gears has also been done in Marsabit, Wajir and Isiolo.
Oguna assured Kenyans that the chemicals to be used have been tested, and authorised hence not harmful if used according to the guidelines given.