Desperate and dire times call for desperate measures. Some police officers and residents of Wajir have taken to unusual means to chase away swarms of locusts that have invaded the northeastern county.
In a viral video taken on January 2, 2020, two police officers were seen shooting at the huge swarms of locusts with G3 rifles while local residents were beating tin cans to chase away the pests.
Besides shooting at the locusts, the officers also seemed to have lobbed teargas at the pests.
Locals with motorcycles also honked at the huge swarms in a desperate attempt to stop them from clearing vegetation and crops.
According to the locals, the swarms are devouring at least 150km square every 24 hours and are now heading to Marsabit and Isiolo counties.
On January 1, 2020, the Mandera County government appealed for assistance from the national government and development partners wake of locust invasion, saying that it lacks the capacity to fight off the pests single-handedly.
The county which launched exercise to spray the pests with insecticides said the invasion is an international disaster, having devoured vegetation in Somalia and Ethiopia.
Mandera Agriculture minister Mohammed Johara said the locusts have also destroyed crops are fast spreading in Wajir and Marsabit counties after migrating from Somalia.
He called on the national government and other development partners to aid the northeastern counties tame the devouring pests.
Johara said the county lacks the capacity to fight the locust invasion single-handedly and needs assistance from the national government.
In southern Somalia where the locusts invaded from, farmers used heavy machine guns — PKM rifles— in desperate attempts to save their crops.
The Somalia invasion was the largest locust infestation in 25 years, according to the Telegraph.
Since July 2019, swarms of Desert Locusts from nearby Yemen invaded vast swathes of the Horn of Africa.