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Government to use aerial spray to counter locust menace

The  government  will commence aerial spraying of locust in all the affected counties from today, government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, has announced.

Speaking  on  Saturday during a media briefing, Oguna said that the government has acquired aerial spraying capability and the aircraft will be located in Wajir where all the counties will be sprayed.

“We have been monitoring the locust situation which is a threat to food security. Initially the threat emanated from across the border with the government establishing the locust threat as early as November last year,” explained Oguna.

He  added that the insects crossed the border into Kenya from El-Wak on 28th December 2019 and has since spread into the Northern region of the country affecting three counties Wajir, Marsabit and Mandera.

Oguna  said that President Uhuru Kenyatta has been fully briefed about the situation and he has directed relevant ministries, agencies and authorities to deal with the situation as quickly as possible.

“A meeting under the auspices of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of Government attended by various agencies and locust control bodies in East  Africa and UN affiliated organizations was held today to determine the progress of the President’s directive to deal with the situation,” said Oguna.

He added that the government has dispatched ground locust support teams to build awareness and will also undertake surveys and guide aerial spraying teams.

“There will be aerial spraying teams for the areas affected by locusts. Additionally, 3, 000 litres of chemicals for spraying the locust was acquired last week and so far has been dispatched to the affected counties,” said Oguna, adding that distribution of hand held sprayers together with protective gears have also been done to the counties of Marsabit, Wajir and Isiolo.

Addressing the issue of the safety of the sprays, Oguna assured Kenyans that the chemicals which will be used have been tested, registered and authorized for the use of control of locusts hence not harmful if used according to the guidelines given.

“We wish to assure Kenyans that this is an issue that the government is fully in control and there is nothing to worry about and farmers and other Kenyans should go about their normal daily activities, including taking their children back to school on Monday,” said Oguna.

Commenting on the security situation in the country, the Government Spokesperson said that the security of the nation is stable and assured the general public that security personnel have been beefed up in areas that have witnessed insecurity such as in Lamu where there was an attack on public transport vehicles.

“We wish to inform the public that the criminal elements that carried out the attack were all rounded up and neutralized. This will go on whenever there is such an incident but largely every corner of the country is safe and road transport in the affected area has resumed same to other activities,” said Oguna.

By  Joseph  Ng’ang’a

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