Hoppers bands being reproduced for the second generation.
Hoppers bands being reproduced for the second generation. FILE

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says Isiolo and Samburu counties become the new epicentres of the second wave of desert locusts.

According to the locust watch released on Saturday, immature and mature swarms in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia are still present where they are maturing and laying eggs.

“A few more hopper bands have been reported in the northern county of Marsabit, but the majority of hatching has yet to occur or be detected," the locust watch states.

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Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga says the ongoing control operations have led to a decrease in the locust swarm population in parts of Isiolo, and the winds have begun migrating the swarms to Turkana.

However, 18 counties are affected by the locust invasion in the country.

The government has issued up to Sh540 million for locust control and with more support from FAO, the World Bank and other donor partners.

There are sufficient supplies to contain the menace in the next three months.

FAO has proved that the locust menace is spreading to new areas and that Sudan, and perhaps the Sahel of West Africa, could face an impending invasion from spring breeding areas.

In Ethiopia, some swarms have spread to other areas of the country, mainly in the East, including the Somali region and the Ogaden where breeding is underway and hopper bands have formed.

"The swarms would first appear in Sudan where it is currently dry and the situation is calm," FAO warns.

"If they arrive in Sudan before the summer rains, then the swarms are likely to continue westwards across the Sahel from Chad to Mauritania."

 "Besides, the update shows that the first appearance in eastern Chad could be as early as the second week of June from Arabia and the last week of June from East Africa," FAO says.

"While the current threat is assessed as low, it can change significantly during this month due to rainfall, winds, and spring breeding in Arabia and East Africa," FAO states.

"Therefore, investment in preparedness and anticipatory actions should be immediately and quickly scaled up to face this potential threat."

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