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Locusts spotted in Kirinyaga village

Monday January 13 2020
loc pix

A swarm of locusts spotted at Riandira village in Kirinyaga County on January 13, 2020. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE MUNENE

Panic gripped residents of Riandira village in Kirinyaga County after desert locusts were spotted on some farms in the area.

The insects had already invaded farms belonging to two farmers by Sunday evening.

The residents are worried that the voracious feeders may spread to other farms in the region and wreak havoc on maize, rice, tea and coffee plantations.

"Locusts are now in my farm. They are feeding on my trees and they are spreading fast," said Isaack Ndung'u, a farmer.

He said the locusts first landed on the fence on Sunday evening and started spreading to the maize farm.

Another farmer, Sospeter Kariuki, said the locusts arrived in swarms causing panic among the residents.

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"Everyone is scared and the government should step in to assess the situation before the worst happens," he pleaded.

Kirinyaga County Assembly Majority Leader Kamau Murango called for urgent intervention to eradicate the locusts.

"I have also received information that locusts have been seen in some parts of the region. If urgent measures are not taken, it will be a disaster," he said.

Mr Murango said the locusts had been reported in Isiolo and Marsabit and were now spreading to Kirinyaga.

"As leaders, we are concerned about the invasion ... Residents are dependent on agriculture for survival and if their crops are destroyed they will suffer," said Mr Murango, who is also the Kerugoya ward representative.

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