Nairobi, 7 January 2019 – Responding to the news of locust invasions in Kenya , Greenpeace Africa’s Food for Life Campaigner Claire Nasike has said:

“It is commendable that the government is putting in measures to safeguard the people of Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Meru, and Isiolo counties from a looming food crisis due to locust invasion. 

“It is however worrying that the government is taking this long to control the spread of locusts, which have now spread to Meru  and Isiolo counties. Meru county is an agricultural basket renowned for the production of bananas. The presence of locusts in this county threatens the food security of the residents after a bumper harvest from the recent rains.

“Of additional concern is the ask by the Wajir Deputy Governor Ahmed Muktar to residents to stay away from the sprayed areas to prevent the contraction of diseases, a clear admission that the pesticides are harmful to human health and the environment. Wajir, Meru, and Marsabit counties are home to important ecological areas in Kenya: the Lorian Swamp, River Ewaso Ng’iro North, River Tana, River Daua, Meru National Park and Marsabit National Park. These areas are all likely to be affected by the pesticides.

“Greenpeace Africa therefore urges the government of Kenya to act swiftly to prevent the spread of the locusts to other food basket counties in a bid to protect Kenyans from hunger, as well as to consider using  ecological pest management technologies to control the pests instead. They are not only efficient in controlling locust invasions, but are also safer for the environment, animals and people. And they can be used in ecologically sensitive areas with no harm to human health or the environment as opposed to conventional pesticides.”

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Hellen Dena, Communications Officer, [email protected], +254 717 104 144

Chris Vlavianos, Communications Officer (South Africa), [email protected], +2779 883 7036