There was palpable anxiety among the residents of Kisumu on Tuesday, following reports that the dreaded locusts that have been ravaging farms in other part of the country, have been spotted in the county.
The initial report on arrival of the pests in the area was made on Monday evening by shocked residents of Wang’aya Sub Location in Muhoroni sub-county.
The anxious residents who are yet to come to terms with the menace, said they could do nothing but watch helplessly as the the strange pests descended on their farms.
“It is unlike anything we have ever witnessed in our generation. We have no idea on how far the damage could go,” said a visibly dejected, Joel Owuor, a local sugarcane farmer.
The locals are now calling on the relevant authorities to take swift action and forestall further spread of the winged-insects, amid fears that their continued presence in the county portends real danger to the local agricultural activities and by extension livelihoods of the people.
Area Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Erick Wanyonyi while confirming the reports, assured residents that speedy action was being taken to arrest the situation.
“The matter has already been brought to the attention of the relevant authorities at both the county and national level and I am sure that mitigation measures should be on course anytime from now,” he said.
In the meantime, the DCC has asked those residing within the affected areas to stay calm, warning that any form of panicking could result in unnecessary incidents.
Muhoroni is a rich agricultural zone of Kisumu County, hosting a number of sugarcane and rice plantations, horticulture farming as well as other diversified crops, thus eliciting fear among residents that the deadly pests could leave behind a trail of crippling destruction.
By Milton Onyango