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Another swarm of desert locust spotted at Sibilo area of Baringo North

Baringo county and national government in collaboration with partners have put in place contingency measures to support surveillance and spraying of desert locust confirmed Tuesday to be at Mt Tiaty in East Pokot sub county.

The county director of communication Sylus Kiptui in a surveillance update report said that the county and relevant departments have availed 4 by 4 vehicles, fuel and airplanes to help in combating the locust invasion.

An aerial view of the slopes of Mt Tiaty in East Pokot Sub County where residents claimed that a swarm of the desert locusts were spotted. The locust look brownish as captured from an aircraft.

Mr Kiptui at the same time said that another swarm of locust whose exact size has not been established have landed at Sibilo area in Baringo North causing a lot of fear and anxiety among area farmers who are majorly pastoralists.

“It is very difficult to establish the size of the locusts because of the terrain of the area which is very bad indeed,” he stated.

The communication director has however urged local farmers to report exact location of any sighting of the swarms as the ground and aerial survey continues.

“The ministry of agriculture will in due course furnish farmers with other protection methods they can engage in controlling the locusts,”Kiptui reiterated.

The county and national surveillance team yesterday morning after conducting an aerial survey confirmed the presence of desert locust at the top of Mt Tiaty in Tirioko area of East Pokot Sub County.

The team led by a Captain Cheruiyot managed to locate the presence of the locust in areas of Kalpesa, Mkochepleng and Kaapelow after conducting an aerial surveillance.

The confirmation of the desert locust in parts of the vast county follows a two day extensive ground surveillance after residents of Kamurio village reported the invasion of the devastating pests in the area.

A senior official from the ministry of Agriculture who over flew the region with the national team and did not want to be named told the press in Kabarnet town that they managed to sight the locusts busy feeding on lush vegetation along ridges at the top of the mountain which is extremely inaccessible.

The agricultural officer said that there is high possibility of the locust settling down and breeding immediately thus causing a lot of devastation to vegetation or trees fed by animals in the pastoralist inhabited region.

A resident, John Lokidap, who saw the swarm of locust over the weekend and captured a video using his mobile phone told the press who toured Kamurio area on fact finding mission on Monday that the locusts moved towards Kipkariren village on the slopes of Mt Tiaty that morning.

Mr Lokidap expressed his anger over the destructive pests saying it was disastrous to his pastoral Pokot community who rely on vegetation to feed their livestock.

“These locusts have chewed almost all the grass in the area in which they briefly settled and we are worried over what our livestock will feed on if they continued hovering around our area,” he paused.

The aerial surveillance carried out mainly around Tiaty hills and along the Kerio Valley region showed a big swarm of desert locust atop Mt Tiaty whose density was high and scanty and bare vegetation was confirmed approximately 1-2 kms.

By Joshua Kibet

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