Locusts invade parts of West Pokot County

Locusts. Photo/Courtesy

Swarms of the invasive desert locusts have been spotted in parts of Sigor Sub County in West Pokot County. On Sunday, the locusts descended on Talam, Mosop, Toghomo, Amolem, Akiriamet, Kaakong, Lomut villages, destroying crops, pasture and vegetation in the area predominately occupied by pastoralists.

Locals who are now living in fear have raised concern that the invasion is a threat to pasture and food security in the arid area.

Pokot Central Deputy County commissioner Simiyu Were confirmed the invasion of the locust saying that the insects were spotted on Sunday and a team had been dispatched to areas where the insects had been spotted for monitoring purposes, and that it would present a comprehensive report for action.

Weiwei irrigation scheme chairperson Mark Meut said the locusts have destroyed crops like mangoes and shrubs in the scheme. Meut asked the government to immediately intervene. “The locusts have destroyed mangoes and this is a threat to food security in the area,” he said.

Meut expressed his anger over the destructive pests saying it was disastrous to his pastoral Pokot community who rely on vegetation to feed their livestock.

“These locusts have chewed almost all the grass in the area in which they briefly settled and we are worried over what our livestock will feed on if they continued hovering around our area,” he said.

A resident of Mosop Mr. David Kamama said that residents are staying in fear after the invasion.

County Executive Member for Agriculture Joel Ngasia County officers are on the ground to establish the real condition. Ngasia has however urged local farmers to report the exact location of any sighting of the swarms as the ground and aerial survey continues.