Farmers in East Africa are very concerned after seeing desert locusts in various parts of the region, despite continued efforts since last year by governments and partners to eliminate the destructive pests. In Kenya’s Kitui County, fear was written on farmers’ faces on Sunday after they noticed desert locusts at a time when their crops are sprouting following the ongoing brief rains. The sightings come as the Kenya Meteorological Department predicts that the country will experience depressed rainfall during this short rain season. Peter Munya, the Cabinet secretary for agriculture, livestock, fisheries and cooperatives, confirmed on Saturday that fresh swarms of desert locusts had been spotted in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Tana River, Kitui and Taita-Taveta counties. Munya said that while Kenya had succeeded in eliminating locusts by September, Ethiopia and Somalia didn’t eradicate the pests, so the locusts have been breeding in those countries and are migrating to Kenya. Despite a regional body that has a mandate to fight desert locusts, Munya said a lack of regional cooperation was to blame for the failure to effectively control the pests. “We even send some of our chemicals to Yemen in efforts to support the other countries to control locusts from… Read full this story
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