Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri is now telling farmers to take pictures of insects in their farms and post on social media so that the government can now whether they are locusts or not. While speaking with the press from his office, Kiunjuri says this will help in controlling the pests that have invaded the counties of Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Isiolo and Meru.
”If you see an insect that looks like a locust, take a photo and post it on social media so that the ministry can confirm and verify ,” CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said.
“We have managed to spray several large swarms and today the government has deployed a second spraying aircraft to Isiolo.We have identified elders, chiefs, county commissioners and community leaders who we are working with to report and we are also training people to deal with the locusts,” he stated.
The CS has also warned the locusts are on the move an could be in Nairobi by this evening. He revealed the locusts were moving towards Nairobi at a speed of 120km per day.
”As of this [Friday] morning at 11 am we received information that the locusts are a few kilometres out of Meru County, but still in Samburu County. After monitoring their movements we’ve established they are traveling at 120km/day then you can imagine that they can be in Nairobi by evening,” he stated.
The CS went on to elaborate the challenges the ministry has faced in trying to eradicate the locusts saying that their travel patterns have been a major hindrance.
“Locusts are mobile, we can attack them while they are moving but it is dangerous and difficult. For example, we were able to attack a swarm in Wajir yesterday as they were flying but the pilot was forced to get his hand out of the helicopter to wipe the windscreen [because the locusts restricted visibility].
“The best approach is to attack while they are resting and the most effective way is for citizens to alert us when they see them. People need to be alert especially in the evening between 4 pm and 6pm because the swarms will definitely rest at 6 pm so it will be easy to locate them,” the CS added.