By Yusuf Masibo
Panic and excitement hit farmers and residents in Bungoma County after desert locusts were spotted in Kimilili, Tongaren, Mt. Elgon and Bumula constituencies.
The farmers, majority of whom had started preparing their farms for the March planting season, are now living in fear after news spread of the locust invasion.
Bungoma County’s Agriculture minister Mathews Makanda confirmed that the locusts were spotted in Namboani area of Kimilili constituency as well as Ndalu in Tongareni and Chemoge, Kaptama, Kapsokwony and Kopsiro in Mt. Elgon constituency.
He said the county administration has requested the Agriculture ministry to dispatch planes for aerial spraying.
Makanda warned the residents in the affected areas against eating the locusts, saying they may have been sprayed with insecticides elsewhere and may be harmful to human beings.
”They may have migrated to the county after they were sprayed somewhere else so let our people not turn them into vegetables,” warned the CEC.
He said they are looking forward to working with the national government on the issue, saying the farmers should not panic.
The farmers in Mt. Elgon have called on both the national and county government officials to visit the area and asses the locusts before they do a lot of harm to their crops.
”We want both the national and county agriculture officers to quickly visit this area so that immediate action is taken,” said Joseph Chepywoyo, a local farmer.