Kenya: FAO Warns of Second, Severe Locust Invasion in Kenya

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) has asked the government to step up its preparedness to deal with a second locust invasion expected in a week’s time.

The warning comes even as some of the counties in northern Kenya continue to battle immature swarms wreaking havoc on grasslands, threatening food security for them and their livestock.

Some mature swarms from the previous generation in Somalia continue to invade the northern and coastal counties with egg laying having already taken place near Tana River County, creating fears that it could have also occurred in other affected counties.

The expected invasion in mid-December could be worse than Fao had projected weeks ago, following Cyclone Gati.

It struck Somalia a week ago, hastening the maturity of the swarms in the country.

Mature swarms are present in northeast Somalia where they are expected to lay eggs in areas that have received heavy rains due to the cyclone. This will cause hatching and band formation in the coming few days.

Fao said substantial breeding and a large number of hopper bands continue to develop in eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia where ground and aerial operations to fight the locusts are under way.

Swarms’ migration

Successive waves of immature swarms are expected to migrate south to southeast Ethiopia and south Somalia and invade northeast Kenya and then spread to northern and central counties.