Residents appeal for intervention to eradicate locust swarms

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Residents of Burat Ward, Isiolo County are appealing to the government to intervene and destroy locusts that have invaded grazing areas for their animals.

The residents of Alamach, Lotiki and Shambani villages in Burat Ward expressed fear that emergence of swarm of new generation desert locusts in the area they had invaded earlier in January may cause more destruction to their pastures since they may adapt to the environment since they seem to have been hatched in the area.

They said the new pests appeared in the last few days and could be the new locust invasion has now spread to nearby areas of Lowangichu, Napuseru, and Armoroti hills where they had set aside as their pasture reserves for livestock during dry seasons.

            A youth leader from the area, Mr. Sammy Lorere, said that the adult locusts that invaded the area a month ago had already depleted several kilometers of vegetation, adding that the eggs left behind have now hatched into new ones, caused fear among members of public that the menace is only increasing.

            “We thought the menace was over after the government sprayed the pests using aircrafts but we are shocked that they are with us again. A swift action should be taken by the government or the youth be involved through training them and be equipped with the necessary material and chemicals to combat the large insects,” he said.

            Lorere said that it could be easier to tackle the insects now when they are only crawling on the ground and cannot fly, and called upon the government to move with speed and spray them before they turn into adults and lay more eggs.

            Another resident, Mr. Jackson Lokadelio argued that the department headed by CS Peter Munya should be more serious and urgently dispatch the National Youth Service cohorts who underwent training to deal with the new generation locusts recently to the area.

            Elders John Lokidongoi and Elizabeth Namoe from the area lamented that women groups who practice horticultural farming had suffered losses after the locusts exhausted their crops, and want the government to compensate them so that they could start farming afresh.

They expressed uncertainties of food security in the region if impact brought about by locusts, was not addressed as a top priority by the government.