Kenya close to eradicating locust infestations, but resurgence possible before end of 2020, UN warns

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A Kenyan farmer from the Kyuso region inspects her devastated field after a swarm of locusts passes through. Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

Kenya is likely to become free from desert locusts in the near future thanks to roll-out of robust containment measures, a senior official from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on [July 28].

Cyril Ferrand, FAO’s resilience team leader for East Africa, said that Kenya and other Horn of Africa nations have made significant progress towards eradication of the voracious pests.

[Editor’s note: Read the FAO’s Q&A with Cyril Ferrand to learn more.]

He said that only two out of the 29 counties in Kenya that were infested by desert locusts in February are yet to contain them.

Related article:  Podcast: How to build a coronavirus; alcohol doesn't shrink your brain; and locusts threaten famine in East Africa
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“In the coming days, that will drop to one county, and within three weeks Kenya should be free of large-scale infestations altogether,” Ferrand said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said that FAO is fighting the second generation of desert locusts that have been successful but the threat of possible re-infestation towards the end of the year calls for enhanced surveillance.

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