Alarm after locust-like insects are spotted in Ganze

The Long horned grasshopers spotted in Ganze Subcounty PHOTO COURTESY

Locust like insects that have emerged in Ganze sub-county of Kilifi county are leaving residents a worried lot.

The insects were spotted last week near the Independent Faith Baptist church at Dzifahe, in Sokoke ward.

According to area residents, the insects have been in the area for the past week leaving them worried that they could devour the vegetation in the drought-prone sub-county.

“The insects are targeting trees, I have not seen them settling on any other type of vegetation” Gideon Kalama a resident told Baraka FM.

On Tuesday, the Kilifi county agriculture CEC Luciana Sanzua, told reporters that the insects should not be a cause for alarm as they are long-horned grasshoppers.

This comes as a swarm of destructive desert locusts devours vegetation in parts of Northern Kenya and the Mount Kenya region.

The locusts crossed over to Africa from Yemen where they were first spotted in September 2019.

In November, the locusts crossed over to Ethiopia before crossing to Somalia in December with the Food and Agricultural Organization FAO warning that should they fail to be contained in Kenya, the locusts could cross over to Northern Uganda and parts of South Sudan.

“There is a risk that some swarms could appear in northeast Uganda, southeast South Sudan and southwest Ethiopia. Ground and aerial control operations continue in Ethiopia and aerial operations started in Kenya on 6 January. Insecurity and a lack of national capacity have so far not allowed control operations in Somalia. During January, swarms will mature and lay eggs in the Ogaden and north-central Somalia that will hatch and cause numerous hopper bands to form. There is a low risk of breeding in Kenya.” The Food and Agricultural Organization said earlier in the week.

Last week, Agriculture CS Peter Munya said that the pesticide that was being sprayed through aerial spraying was ineffective in containing the destructive pests.