Wario calls on government to help contain locust invasion

Friday, January 3rd, 2020 18:08 |
Bura MP Ali Wario
Bura MP Ali Wario

Bura MP Ali Wario has joined his North Eastern counterparts in calling on the government to move with speed and contain the deadly desert locusts that have invaded Mandera and Wajir counties.

Northern Kenya leaders led by Eldas MP Adan Keynan have been calling on the government to move swiftly to deal with the swarms in the two counties.

The leaders warned of a looming humanitarian crisis, if measures are not taken to stop the menace.

Wario, who was addressing the press at his Madogo residence Friday, said that another swarm of locusts is threatening to enter the country through Liboi in Garissa County and could end up in Tana River County and beyond.

The MP said that the locusts were a threat to vegetation and pasture in the region that had flourished following recent heavy rains.

“The desert locusts are known to devour each and every green vegetation on its path. We are staring at a disaster if the government does not intervene quickly,” Wario said.

“I am requesting President Uhuru Kenyatta to call for help from the international community who have the expertise in dealing with the desert locusts. The joy of green plenty pasture, water and vegetation for our pastoralists could turn into desperation if we don’t act now,” he added.

Early this month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that desert locusts, which had hit Ethiopia and Somalia, would spread to other Eastern Africa countries including Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and South Sudan if early and sustained measures were not taken.

According to FAO, the locusts have damaged about 70,000 hectares of farmland in Somalia and neighboring eastern Ethiopia.

The insects reproduce and then form swarms that can move up to 150 kilometres per day in search of food. 

The Kenya livestock marketing council chair Dubat Amey said that the government should mobilise all its resources and stop the spread of the locust in to  Isiolo, Baringo, Turkana and West Pokot counties.

“If this happens then the country could be staring at a disaster that will take years to reverse. I am equating this to an invading foreign army that we must face head on lest it destroys the economic gains we have achieved over the years,” he said. - KNA

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