Desert locust swarm can be 460 square miles in size and pack between 40 and 80 million locusts into less than half a square mile. An average swarm will destroy crops that could feed 2,500 people for a year, according to FAO.
BY PATRICK KIMANZI – The COUNTY DIARY Editor
Desert locusts, the vile swarm of insects flying at 17Km per hour armed with a voracious, destructive appetite for anything green could be headed your way in Kitui.
And why not?
Here is a recent news story on the swarm of millions of locusts that has left the Kenyan Government in panic mode as it stares at the wanton destruction in the face.
And so it seems that as the swarm rides roughshod over the Country, the State has been clutching at the straws.
There was panic on Monday in Kibwezi, Makueni County after residents spotted a of swarm locust.
The areas where these insects were seen include Mbuvo, Kikumini, and Muvao.
The locals are now calling on the government through the Ministry of Agriculture to come to their aid in containing these insects before they wreak havoc on their farms.
In an interview with some of the locals, they intimated that the number of insects kept on increasing and they are worried especially considering the damage they have done in other parts of the country.
Makueni and Machakos to get extra funds for being prudent.
“They have started eating leaves and we are worried because our produce is still in the farm,” One of the residents said.
Dr. Evelyn Samita an expert in the field said that there is a need for the Locust menace to be contained as soon as possible before it turns out to be a disaster.
Last week, the locusts invaded parts of Meru and Isiolo.
“Spraying alone may not be enough but for now they have to contain the large number.
The best method to be used should be Integrated Pest Management System. Bring in people to harvest these insects for food, if you reduce the mass you reduce the damage,” she said.
(PATRICK KIMANZI, a former long serving Nation Correspondent is The COUNTY DIARY Editor)