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CS Kiunjuri asks Kenyans to share photos of insects on social media for ‘locust test’ – VIDEO

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri now wants members of the public to take pictures of insects they suspect to be locust and post on social media, for identification by his Ministry.

Speaking at Ukulima House on Friday, Mr Kiunjuri said that this will help in stopping the spread of panic over the invasive insects.

He explained that his ministry officials have been able to establish that some of the insects being reported are not the desert locust.

“Mkiona mdudu yoyote ambaye munafikiria ni locust tafadhali mupige picha weka kwa social media na itatufikia at least hata sisi tutamonitor kwa social media ili tusiwe tuna wadudu ambaye sio locust na wananchi wanhofia ni locust,” says Mr Kiunjuri.

He added: “It is important that we alert all Kenyans that not all grasshoppers are desert locust; the multi stakeholder’s team that has been formed is made up of accomplished scientists ready and willing to identify which are the real locusts in order to avoid spreading alarm about the spread of locust, which is diverting attention and resources from critical areas.”

There are reports that what was reported earlier on as locust in Machakos and Meru counties are not locusts but long horned variegated grasshoppers.

WEATHER PATTERNS

The long horned grasshoppers are common in the two counties, but have now increased in numbers due to the changing weather patterns.

The CS said the government has put in place measures to get rid of the insects, despite facing some challenges.

“For example, we were able to attack them from the swamp in Wajir but it was a difficult task. The pilot was being forced to get his hands outside and start wiping the wind screen. You can imagine. You cannot tell where they are going we are trying to follow them using vehicles but the only effective way is for the people to come out. Because if you alert our people because at around 4 to 6pm they are going to rest and if a person is able to locate where they are resting and tell us then we can be able to know exactly where to start (sic),” he said.

The CS’s statement telling Kenyans to take pictures of insects and posting on social media was met with outrage from the online community.