The government of Kenya has deployed a disaster response team armed with drones to combat the desert locust invasion already ravaging crops and pasturelands in Samburu region.
According to reports, the region has been plagued with persistent drought and floods for years, is now also facing an increase in food shortage as a result of this pest invasion.
In what has been tagged the worst outbreak in the quarter of a century by the Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO), several farmlands in Kenya have been lost to the pest.
The introduction of the special drones in the fight against the pest is due to the inability to control the situation from the ground as a result of bad topography.
Speaking on the move, Chief Officer of Special Programmes, Daniel Lesaigor revealed that the team has begun using specially developed drones to eradicate the locusts.
He said, “The programme is cheaper. This is the first experience because nobody has ever done this with desert locusts before. The sprayers are effective because we spray the locusts upon sighting them.
“This is a major boost because most places are not accessible due to bad terrain. With these drones, we can send them and do spraying exercise conveniently”.
A recent FAO’s report disclosed that the situation is expected to worsen in the coming weeks. It said that a new swarm of desert locust could start arriving in Kenya in December.
The report read, “As a result of the ongoing breeding, a new generation of immature swarms will form in early December.
They are expected to move south and threaten southeast Ethiopia, southern Somalia, and northeast Kenya”.
Meanwhile, Lesaigor said that the Kenyan government was on the lookout to trace and destroy the pest.