The county government of Kisii is on high alert over a possible desert locust invasion with authorities now advising farmers to harvest their crops to avoid losses, barely two days after a swarm of locusts invaded neighbouring Kisumu County.
In a statement Wednesday, County Agriculture Executive Esman Onsarigo asked residents to immediately report to the administrative offices once they spot the insects.
"We have noted with great concern the arrival of dreaded locusts within our vicinity and with the on-going containment efforts in Kisumu, I wish to warn our people that the locusts might be forced to migrate to other areas including Kisii," he said.
The county government said it had enhanced surveillance and sought necessary support from other quarters.
Mr Onsarigo noted that in case of an invasion, the insects are likely to cause a huge loss because a majority of locals entirely depend on agriculture.
He spoke as Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o said the insects that have invaded Muhoroni in Kisumu have no exhibition of swarm characteristics of desert locust.
According to Prof Nyong'o, a team of experts from the county government, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), visited the affected farms and confirmed the presence of the insects.
The team collected and tested the same.
"My government dispatched a team on Tuesday to the affected farm in Wang'aya 1 Sub Location in Masogo/Nyan'g ward. Going by the findings, indeed there were grasshoppers in two sugarcane farms," the governor said in a statement.
The statement noted that yesterday morning, a team of Kalro and Kephis officials, also went to the same farm for further assessment.
The governor said Kalro and Kephis recommended farmers to spray Ranger 480C insecticide to clear the grasshoppers.
The county government has scheduled spraying of the affected sites this weekend contain maturing of the eggs.
The governor spoke as rice farmers in Kisumu urged both the county and national governments to fast track response to the locust menace.
West Kano Irrigation Scheme chairman George Okaka said should the locust swarm invade the paddy, then it will be a setback to farmers who depend on the cash crop for a livelihood.
" We need the county officers to give us a full report on the insects," said Mr Okoko.
Another locust invasion was reported in Migori County, Kokendo village, where farmers now live in fear after spotting the insects.