The government has intensified the Desert Locust Control Operation expanding its operations to Garissa County.
The move was informed by the latest surveillance and monitoring report which indicated the presence of the insects in Garissa County.
In a statement Sunday, Government spokesperson colonel retired Cyrus Oguna says the spray aircraft stationed in Wajir has managed to spray designated swathes of locusts in Wajir and Mandera Counties.
” The Desert Locust Control Operation that has been going on since the insects first crossed into the country on 28th December 2019 has been progressing smoothly with every effort directed at killing the insects and containing their possible movement to other counties. Surveillance and monitoring activities have also been heightened, with the latest report indicating the presence of the insects in Garissa County. Garissa County has therefore been incorporated into the plan.” He said.
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Marsabit and Garissa, according to Oguna are in the next schedule of aerial spray.
” Activities undertaken today in the affected counties to contain the situation and stem the spread into other additional counties include the spray aircraft stationed in Wajir managed to spray designated swathes of Wajir and Mandera. Marsabit and Garissa are in the next schedule of aerial spray.” He added.
Oguna says monitoring activities identified swarms of locusts in Leisanyu and Sabuli in Wajir which were sprayed. Teams for the other two counties Garissa and Marsabit were expected in the station late on Sunday.
”The national ground teams continue with monitoring, mobilization and sensitization of the county ground control support teams and the local communities in Wajir and Mandera. Monitoring activities identified swarms of locusts in Leisanyu and Sabuli in Wajir which were sprayed.” He noted.
”Spraying control chemicals that were stationed in Wajir have been distributed to all the other affected counties. Equally distributed are hand held sprayers for use by trained county control support teams.” He said.
Oguna has once again assured the public that the government is in full control of the situation.
” The operation continues to ensure that the situation is fully controlled and possible spread of the locusts is contained. The general public is equally assured that the Government is in full control of the situation.”
During a media briefing on Saturday, Oguna said 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.
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.