Locust invasion: State ditches guns for aerial sprays-video

The government has ditched shooting in the air to scare locusts that have ravaged northern Kenya for aerial sprays, its spokesman has said.

Oguna said that an aircraft is in Wajir where the exercise will begin.The spraying will be guided by ground locust support teams which have been deployed in the region.He added that handheld sprayers and protective gears have also been distributed in the region affected by the menace.

Oguna ruled out any effects of the chemicals on public health.“We wish to assure that the chemicals to be used to spray have been registered and authorized for the control of locusts hence not harmful if used according to the guidelines,” he said.

He added that he will brief the public tomorrow on the spraying progress.Residents of the affected counties had resorted to desperate means, including shouting, whistling and striking with objects to combat the locusts. Others prayed by reciting the Koran.Their efforts were fruitful and swarm left for through the Wajir-Marsabit border.However, their relief did not last long as a second swam, which a Wajir County agricultural official told a local daily was thrice the first swam, returned. The government responded by deploying police officers to the affected areas to shoot in the air and scare away the locusts.

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