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County to conduct rapid assessment on locust infestation

The  Turkana County Executive for Agriculture, Pastoral Economy and Fisheries, Chris  Aletia  has said that the county government will conduct joint assessment with partners across the county to collect data in locust infested areas.

Speaking  at  Lodwar  during a County steering group (CSG) meeting on Friday, the county executive stressed on the need for early control and prevention of locust warning that the swams’ damage would be disastrous to the vegetation around.

While assuring stakeholders of the County government readiness to tackle spread of the pest that has been reported in several parts of the Country, CEC Aletia said that the Agriculture department would coordinate with the National government desert locust control office in Nairobi, for timely intervention and mitigation of infestation.

The Agriculture Deputy Director, Paul Lokone urged stakeholders to create awareness on the threats of locust invasion, its frequency and possible challenges at the ward level.

His sentiments were echoed by the County Disaster Management Deputy Director, Moses Nawoton who noted the importance of factual data that would aid correct mitigation measures. He briefed the participants on the progress, challenges and recommendations by disaster management team on floods that were experienced last year.

The CSG has agreed on a joint resource mobilization for the assessment with partners pledging logistical support to the county government teams that will visit all sub counties.

County government officials also present, included Resource Mobilization Director, Richard Ekai, Sports Deputy Director, Jackson Nakusa and a host of officers drawn from the departments of Livestock production, veterinary services and Fisheries.

County Steering Group meeting was co-chaired by CEC Aletia together with Turkana Central assistant County Commissioner, Anderson Chibanza.

Stakeholders  present,  included representatives from Livestock Management Systems, Food and Agriculture Organisations, World Food Program, National Drought Management Authority, UNICEF, Mercy Corps, GIZ, among others.

By  Peter  Gitonga

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