Just how is the government prepared to deal with the economic disruptions that may arise due to the invasion of the desert locust and the Corona Virus that has been confirmed in several countries?
Economist Reginald Kadzutu believes the two crises have the potential to cripple Kenya’s economy.
Kadzutu says the government should constitute a technical team drawn from the private and public sector to craft a plan on how to rescue the economy in the face of the two systemic threats.
They have been termed as a flying crisis. The locust invasion in 16 counties has left untold suffering and food security threats.
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Though Kenya was warned as early as June 2019 by the United Nations, the locust invasion has left a trail of destruction.
Lack of early warning detection system coupled with a lacklustre response by the concerned risks throwing Kenya into a serious food shortage.
Kadzutu an economist with Zamara Fund says apart from hunger, the desert locusts may intensify inter-clan and tribal clashes due to pasture scarcity.
Those in affected areas are seeking assurances over the safety of their food crop and water after the government embarked on aerial spraying of the pests.
Already treasury has raised this concern in its budget policy statement, saying the locust invasion may lead to sluggish growth in the agricultural sector.
Another elephant in the room is the Corona Virus, though Kenya has not confirmed any case Kadzutu says, the government should by now have come up with a concrete plan just in case.
Already Kenya Airways has stopped all flights to China which is Kenya’s biggest trading and bilateral partner.
KQ’s regional competitor Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly to China.
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