Desert locusts to leave Kenya next month, FAO predicts

By Bernard Gitau On Tue, 23 Jun, 2020 08:35 | < 1 min read
Desert locusts have invaded Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, threatening livelihoods and food security. PHOTO | COURTESY

Kenyans in areas hit hard by desert locusts can now breathe a sigh of relief as the insects are set to leave the country in July.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in its latest update states that the desert locusts are expected to migrate northwards to the summer breeding areas in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Desert locusts have invaded over 20 counties with numerous hopper bands affecting 173,000 acres and 1.3 million people.

“The bulk of swarm formation is likely to occur during the next two weeks followed by a decline in July,” said FAO.

FAO added that before migration, swarms will remain for a short time during which there is a considerable threat to crops and pastures in Turkana and Marsabit counties.

“Thereafter, the swarms are expected to migrate northwards to the summer breeding areas in Sudan and Ethiopia where they will mature quickly and lay eggs,” the statement added.

Some of the swarms will take about a week to cross South Sudan to reach South Kordofan and South Darfur while other swarms will move north to east and northern Ethiopia.

Swarms in northern Somalia can migrate across the Indian Ocean to the summer breeding areas along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.

Though the locusts are expected to migrate, FAO said an increasing number of second-generation immature swarms continue to form in northwest Kenya.

Meanwhile, in Sudan, some rains have fallen so far in South Darfur and South Kordofan, and no locusts are present except for isolated adults in the Nile Valley.

“If the rains are not sufficient, then the invading swarms are likely to continue to eastern Chad and migrate westwards across the Sahel of West Africa. This threat should decline progressively during the

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