The regional body IGAD has called on countries in the region to marshal resources to confront the ongoing locust menace warning the locusts are likely to spread further to Uganda and South Sudan worsening food security in the region.
IGAD said in a statement there’s a likelihood of further spread in the absence of immediate and significant scale up in control activities.
“IGAD calls on its Member States, the East African Community and partners to pull resources together to prevent, control and possibly eradicate the Desert Locust threat to the food security of the region”. “Prevention and control measures must be scaled up to contain further spread of the Desert Locust”. “Countries must act urgently to avoid a food security crisis in the region” said Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD’s Executive Secretary.
There is a risk that some swarms could appear in northeast Uganda, southeast South Sudan and southwest Ethiopia, IGAD said noting a further increase in locust swarms is likely to continue until about June due to the continuation of favourable ecological conditions for Locust breeding.
So far, the eight-member block said, there has been significant and extremely dangerous increase in swarm activity during the past week in Kenya where numerous, large immature swarms are spreading.
IGAD projects the locusts are expected to spread to parts of Rift Valley in Kenya and continue to the west along the Ethiopian border, and some swarms could move further south to Tana River county.
Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta announced $52 million for humanitarian support following the effect of the heavy rains last year adding part of this amount will go towards the interventions on locust invasion.