How COVID-19 pandemic pose danger to Kenya’s food security

Desert locusts. File photo

Coronavirus spread into Kenyan communities now catches government’s attention to put the virus at bay, with about 20 counties affected.

However, the worrying trend is the turn of events ranging from the surging cases of Covid-19 to the ongoing flood situation due to April-May short rain season.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said on Wednesday that the situation could be worst as the rains are expected to go up to the months of June.

About 29 counties are under the effects of floods, with at least 237 lives lost and 161,000 households displaced.

County governors are worried that the government is putting in more emphasis to the pandemic, living behind the locust menace.

Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya has called on the national government to fight the spread of desert locusts, even as it battles the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, movement of another full-grown swarm of desert locusts has been detected in north-eastern Kenya, posing danger to food security.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the current swarms breeding will form from mid-June onwards, coinciding with the start of the harvest season.

The organization said that only some of the hatching and a few hopper bands have been detected.

The government launched several mechanisms to curb the spread of the locusts but little has been achieved.

The ongoing short rains have also worsened the situation and hampered the fight of the virus in some parts of the country, as people are forced to live in crowded camps due to floods –a move that has shift focus from locust curb.

FAO urge countries to be on high alert and invest in preparedness to handle the looming out threat.

The locusts invaded Kenya on December 2019, after crossing the Somalia border.

See also: Latest on Sierra Leone floods: Red Cross say death toll likely to increase

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