The government has set aside Ksh3.2 billion to fight the second wave of desert locusts invasion, Agriculture CS Peter Munya has said.
While speaking in Naivasha during a consultative meeting, Munya said the government has managed to contain the first wave of the invasion which was first reported in December 2019 although there were few remnants in four counties.
The government, which is working in conjunction with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that counties bordering Somalia could be greatly affected in case of a second wave.
“Our projections are that the country will be hit by a second wave of desert locust invasion by mid-December and we have put in place measures to contain them,” said CS Munya.
Already, the government has activated all their bases in Wajir and sent more NYS personnel to conduct ground and aerial spraying using 216,000 litres of pesticide.
“We now have the experience, capacity and enough pesticides to deal with the second wave if it hits us,” he said.
FAO Country Representative Carla Mucavi said that there was a plan of action and funds available to deal with the second wave with the locusts already spotted in Somali.
She added that FAO is committed to supporting the fight against the destructive pest to ensure the country’s food security.
Experts predict that the second wave of locusts could be 20 times worse than the first one.
Why? Well, wet conditions and rainfall above average this season could create favourable breeding grounds hence increasing their population by 400 times.
The first desert locust infestation originated from the Arabian Peninsula sometime in 2018 after two cyclones dumped rainfall creating a breeding ground.
In just nine months, the number of locusts multiplied 8,000 times.
The locusts arrived in Kenya earlier this year where it is estimated that they destroyed 30 per cent of fertile land.