FAO warns Kenya of second desert locusts invasion in November

Vatican News
Desert Locusts. [Photo: Vatican news]

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned Kenya to brace for the second wave of a desert locust invasion.

In a recent report, FAO stated a fresh swarm of desert locusts as started migrating to northern Kenya from Somali, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The report cites that the desert locusts which were wind-blown from Yemen will migrate to Somalia in October and move on to Kenya in November. They travel up to 90 miles a day.

“As winds from the north become established over the Horn of Africa, there will be an increased threat of swarm migration from Yemen, northeast Ethiopia and northern Somalia south to eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia in October and that could extend to northern Kenya in November,” the FAO report noted according to Nation.

In the first invasion that occurred early in the year, the locusts invaded 36 counties in the country.

FAO warned that although there are efforts to prevent this from happening, the breeding that is currently going on could overwhelm ground and aerial controls currently in Yemen and the Horn of Africa.

“An increasing number of swarms has been reported in northern Somalia, including cross-border movements between northwest Somalia and eastern Ethiopia,” said the report.

The aftermath of the first invasion in northern Kenya was the depletion of pasture for animals which put thousands of livelihoods in jeopardy as they depend on pastoralism to make a living.

Food insecurity has also been spurred by the invasion of desert locusts.

Experts blame this on climate change saying that the weather patterns have created a conducive breeding ground for the desert locusts.

Aerial control which involves the spraying of pesticide to swarms spotted had been carried out amid concerns that it was affecting livestock in northern Kenya.