The Cabinet Secretary (CS)for Agriculture Peter Munya has flagged off the Desert Locust Control Program to contain the first-ever invasion witnessed in Taita Taveta County.
Speaking in Mbololo, Voi Sub County on Thursday, Munya stated that interventions being employed by the National and County government are seamless and effective.
“We are well prepared with sufficient pesticides for ground and aerial spraying. We have received the first contingent of 60 officers from the National Youth Service cohorts who will help us spray the locusts. This will ensure deployment of teams to work immediately, ” the Cabinet Secretary said.
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He further assured of the local community being trained as scouts to enable conveyance of information in real-time to command centres in the National Government.
” Locusts are unpredictable and behave like moving targets hence agility is required when combating these ferocious insects,” the CS said.
Governor Granton Samboja expressed gratitude to the National Government for moving in swiftly after locusts were spotted in different areas of the County.
Governor Samboja stated, “The participatory multi-sectoral approach being employed is an effective strategic control towards arresting locust spread. The Cabinet Secretary has experience as a former governor hence he knows challenges being witnessed at the grassroots level,”.
He advised residents of Taita Taveta County on patience as current strategic controls are showing signs of efficacy.
CECM in charge of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, Taita Taveta County, Davis Mwangoma said that hatching is complete and mapping is expected to commence in Mbololo farms as well as other possible locations where the locusts swarm laid eggs.
“ The said exercise is to enable the spraying of hoppers. Further, we will incorporate our staff to check sites where locusts have bred,” Mwangoma noted.
Eliud Baraka, Field Control Manager for Plant Protection Services said that the spraying process takes place in the farms from Monday.
“ Mapping is also set to be done at Tsavo East National Park where the swarm was initially spotted and spraying to be done Wednesday,” Baraka said.
He advised on a post spray analysis assessment to be conducted on Thursday with the hope of successful containment.
“ Other regions have witnessed immense destruction, however, we are thankful to the High Deity as minimal damage has been observed in Taita Taveta County,” Samboja said.
On the other hand, Munya said that there are strategies to restore livelihoods affected in case of damage.