Kenya says likely to face second wave of desert locusts

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NAIROBI, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Kenya is likely to face a second wave of desert locusts invasion after the first wave entered the country early this year, a government official warned on Thursday.

Linah Jebii Kilimo, chief administrative secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries told journalists in Nairobi that the second wave could come from the eastern border of Kenya, depending on the direction the wind will be blowing.

"We are more prepared to combat the second wave because we can use satellite images to see them from far. We also have sufficient stock of chemicals to fight the desert locusts," Kilimo said when the Agriculture Sector Network and the Agrochemical Association of Kenya donated 170,000 liters of pesticides to Kenya and Uganda to aid in the fight against the desert locusts in the respective countries.

She said that the donations will enable the two governments to treat 170,000 hectares of the most affected fields.

"Through this donation we hope to support vulnerable small-holder farmers who are so critical to food security, and essentially contributing to our shared vision of a future where health for all, hunger for none is made possible," she said.

Kilimo observed that as at the beginning of September, more than 10 million people in the east Africa region were facing acute food security due to the recent locust plagues that have ravaged massive fields of food crops.

"The locust invasion still looms high during the planting season and this risk doubled during the recent drought and floods in most regions and even more risk realized currently during the COVID-19 pandemic and this piles additional pressure on food systems hence a key threat to food security," she added.

According to the ministry of agriculture, the largest locust swarm that hit Kenya early this year measured 2,400 square kilometers and was made up of 200 billion locusts. Enditem

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