Nairobi. Malteser International is preparing to respond to the massive locust infestation sweeping across East Africa. Vast swarms of desert locusts, some of which cover an area of almost 250 square kilometers, are devouring crops in northern Kenya. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the locust invasion is the biggest in Kenya in over 70 years.
“The impact of the infestation on food security and livelihood of the rural population in the region is of great concern to us,” said Martin Schömburg, Malteser International’s Country Coordinator in Kenya. “The communities we work with in Marsabit district are directly affected and our priority at present is to help compensate for their losses and enable them recover from this crisis.”
In collaboration with a local partner and in coordination with the FAO, Malteser International is gearing up its humanitarian response to reach vulnerable families in Marsabit with livestock feed and cash assistance. “We will continue to monitor the situation and will also provide seeds to the affected population if harvest is devoured by the locusts,” said Schömburg.
For years, people in northern Kenya have struggled to cope with the increasing effects of climate change. After months of drought in 2019, unusually heavy rainfall led to flash-flooding. These extreme weather conditions have created favorable breeding conditions for the desert locusts. Malteser International's intervention is supported by funds from Germany's Federal Foreign Office.
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Note to Editors:
Martin Schömburg, Country Coordinator for Malteser International in Kenya, is available for interviews.
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