Barely an year after the first wave of desert locust invaded parts of Tharaka Nithi county and particularly areas of Tharaka constituency leaving farmers counting losses, now the second and more serious wave of the destructive insects has landed in Tharaka.
Speaking to News Flash 254, the farmers from Ntoroni location which is in Tharaka North Sub County, said the insects made their way through into the place via Meru national park yesterday evening and until the time of publishing this article no response had come from relevant authorities despite their outcry.
“From yesterday evening when the insects started streaming in large swarms and settled on our farms we are yet to get any response from the relevant authorities in bid to counter the mass destruction we are witnessing on our only source of livehoold on our farms,’’ Regina a local told News Flash 254.
Being harvesting season with crops still on farms, the locals say they might be turned into beggars as crops have been completely destroyed by large swarms of the insects regardless of their state, now leaving them with no hope to sustain themselves economically.
“I usually depends on farm yields to shoulder all expenses including payment of schools fees for my children, but I am now fearing that I might fail to even feed them as the crops I have been looking up to are no more,’’ said Patrick another local.
When the same locusts invaded Tharaka region last year, the Njuki led county government of Tharaka Nithi promised to compensate each and every farmer affected by the ravaging insects, a pledge that have never been honored up to date despite the county boss having instructed farmers to leave them destroy their crops to give humble time to spray them.
“I am urging the affected farmers to remain calm and let the insects feed on their crops without distracting their mass movement to allow chemical spraying since they will all be compensated for the destruction they will have made to farmers in the areas affected,’’ Njuki had earlier said.
Our efforts to reach the Sub county agricultural officer to hear on the measures the county has taken to counter the disaster hit a hard rock as their Marimanti based offices remained shut with no indication on their where about.
Now residents are living in fear as the insects keeps moving to different places and it is not certain the route they will take after leaving Ntoroni area.
Also, the affected farmers are pleading with the government to find a way of compensating them to save them from possible drought.