FAO celebrates food hero in the fight against Desert Locust in Kenya

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13/12/2021 08:31:21
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ID: 24707
Original Filename: FAO_Kenya_Food_Hero_20211015.mp4
Title: FAO celebrates food hero in the fight against Desert Locust in Kenya
Description:

In 2019 Kenya saw the worst Desert Locust invasion of the last 70 years. Crops and pastures were hit by the ravenous pest putting at risk food security and nutrition of thousands of people in the country. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, an instructor in the Kenya of the National Youth Service (NYS) was trained by FAO and engaged in Desert Locusts’ control operations. The control operations were a success, as of late summer 2021, Kenya was considered locust free.

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License type: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO
Credit: FAO
Country: Kenya
Size (cm): 356.06 MB; 1920 x 1080 pixels; 3 minutes 14 seconds;
Orientation: Landscape
Date Created: 14/10/2021 00:00:00
Dopesheet:

In 2019 Kenya saw the worst Desert Locust invasion of the last 70 years. Crops and pastures were hit by the ravenous pest putting at risk food security and nutrition of thousands of people in the country. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) quickly intervened to support the Government of Kenya’s response on survey and control measures.

With support of FAO, the Kenyan government trained 696 community scouts, 140 county extension officers, 25 environment, health and safety experts and 60 county agricultural officers on control operations.

22 young professionals in the Ministry of Agriculture were trained by FAO on various aspects of desert locust management and worked with the government to ensure that only well-trained and properly equipped teams undertook part in the desert locust control operations.

The government also recruited members of the National Youth Service (NYS), the country's voluntary work and educational programme for young citizens. 500 National Youth Service (NYS) people and 20 NYS supervisors were trained by FAO and engaged in Desert Locusts’ control operations to curb the breeding of Desert Locusts. Their involvement in the campaign was crucial to stop the invasion. 

As of late summer 2021, Kenya was considered locust free.

Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, sergeant and instructor in the Kenya NYS was aware of the danger and wanted to give his contribution to bring the locust under control. For this reason, he took part to the trainings and later oversaw a group of 200 service people deployed on desert locust control operations. 

SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “I had a motivational factor. When the locust invasion came to this country. It was a menace. You would hear it all over the news on the televisions.”

Sgt. Brian knew that, with the ability to multiply 20 times with each generation, travel as far as 150 km per day and devour vast swathes of crops and pastureland on their way, Desert Locust was a great threat to food security and livelihoods of the communities of farmers and pastoralists in the country.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “When a family goes to the farm and what they had farmed has been eaten up by the Desert Locusts, this means there is going to be hunger. Our children cannot go to school hungry.”

FAO intervened in Kenya by providing expertise, support, resources and equipment to bring the locusts’ invasion under control. Sgt. Brian and the National Youth Servicemen and Servicewomen received training on how to conduct monitoring and control operations. 

SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “The FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, they came to our college. They were given permission to train our Servicemen and Servicewomen to go and do the control team.”

Every morning the Servicemen and Servicewomen left at 5:30 so to reach the field before that the sun had heated up. On the ground they collected information on Desert Locust swarms’ location and dimension and sent them to the Desert Locust Information Service through the eLocust3g, the FAO’s handheld GPS-based data recording and transmission device designed for use in difficult and remote locations where monitoring is a challenge and there is no network. 

The device consists of a robust GPS and custom designed software, which enables those on the ground to gather standard data and transfer it via satellite from the field to the regional locust command centre in Lewa. The coordinates of sighted locusts are mapped and shared in real-time with air and ground-based locust control teams for targeting.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “We were trained on how to gather information on their behavior, on their movements and how to even fight them”.

The involvement of the National Youth Service in the control operation was successful, and now Kenya has the expertise and capacity to face new threats. Sgt. Brian is actually training Servicemen and Servicewomen to be prepared to manage any resurgence of the pest.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “This was a very good experience. Since this Desert Locust menace came into our country, the National Youth Service has been in the forefront and the delivery has been so well, because if the National Youth Service didn't go outside there, the kind of destruction that we would have experienced would have been vast. Now, it was timely that we went outside there and the delivery was, I can say, 100 percent.”

FAO in partnership with the National Youth Service has trained many boys and girls, giving them new skills and knowledge to build their future. And this experience has given new strength to the work that National Youth Service does.

SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “Undergoing such kind of programs in partnership with different organizations, this gives us pleasure of the service that we deliver to Kenyans. This gives us the strength to understand that giving back to the society should be part of our core mandate.”

It was Sgt. Brian, and many of the heroes like him, that made it possible for Kenya to contain the historic 2020–2021 desert locust upsurge. As other countries across Africa and the globe continue to fight against desert locusts, many other food heroes are rising to the challenge, working closely with FAO and their governments to protect communities, livelihoods and food security.

FAO operates a global system that monitors Desert Locust and provides early warning to locust-affected countries. In addition, FAO supports governments to monitor and respond to desert locust emergencies by strengthening national capacities and providing technical guidance in the planning and execution of control campaigns. With the generous support of resource partners, FAO and national governments affected by the 2020–2021 upsurge in Eastern Africa have worked together to save 4.4 million metric tonnes of cereals from destruction and avoid USD 1.7 billion in potential economic losses. 

Progress toward ending the Desert Locust upsurge is currently being hampered due to the developments in northern Ethiopia, where rains favorable to breeding have taken place while access for surveillance and control operations have been limited due to conflict. It is paramount to maintain a high level of surveillance. Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa and the Kenya National Youth Service are ready for future challenges.

Shotlist:

LOCATIONS: Location, Country OR Various, please check shotlist

DATELINE: Day(s) Month Year OR Various, please check shotlist

LANGUAGE: Natural / English

LENGTH: 03’14’’

SOURCE: FAO

RESTRICTIONS: Please give on screen credit to FAO

SHOTLIST

Samburu County, Kenya, January 2020

1. Lady walking in a field infested by Desert Locust

Turkana County, Kenya, June 2020

2. Desert Locust eating a leaf

3. Desert Locust hoppers moving

4. Tilt up from hoppers on the ground to a farmer trying to disperse hoppers

5. Close up of a worried farmer face

6. Helicopter taking off

Samburu County, Kenya, 8 September 2020

7. Surveillance helicopter flying over a Desert Locust swarm

8. Close up on a mobile phone with eLocust3m on mobile, marking coordinates of sighted and measured swarm.

Turkana County, Kenya, June 2020

9. National Youth Servicemen in protective suits, masks and gloves spraying locust hopper bands

Gilgil, Nakuru County, Kenya, 2 September 2021

10. SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “I had a motivational factor. When the locust invasion came to this country. It was a menace. You would hear it all over the news on the televisions.”

Turkana County, Kenya, June 2020

11. Tilt up from hoppers on a leaf to a farmer assessing damages to his crop

12. Farmer assessing damages

Gilgil, Nakuru County, Kenya, 2 September 2021

13. SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “When a family goes to the farm and what they had farmed has been eaten up by the Desert Locusts, this means there is going to be hunger. Our children cannot go to school hungry.”

Turkana County, Kenya, June 2020

14. A goat grazing, hoppers moving on the ground in the foreground

15. Close up face of a boy from a pastoralist community

Gilgil, Nakuru County, Kenya, 2 September 2021

16. SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “The FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization, they came to our college. They were given permission to train our Servicemen and Servicewomen to go and do the control team.”

17. Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa helping a Serviceman to wear a protective suit

18. Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa illustrating how to spray to a Serviceman

19. SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “We were trained on how to gather information on their behavior, on their movements and how to even fight them”.

20. Servicemen carrying on a spraying exercise 

21. SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “This was a very good experience. Since this Desert Locust menace came into our country, the National Youth Service has been in the forefront and the delivery has been so well, because if the National Youth Service didn't go outside there, the kind of destruction that we would have experienced would have been vast. Now, it was timely that we went outside there and the delivery was, I can say, 100 percent.”

22. Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa illustrating how to spray to a Serviceman

23. Serviceman carrying on a spraying exercise 

24. SOUNDBITE (English) Sgt. Brian Odhiambo Wajewa, Kenya National Youth Service Instructor: “Undergoing such kind of programs in partnership with different organizations, this gives us pleasure of the service that we deliver to Kenyans. This gives us the strength to understand that giving back to the society should be part of our core mandate.”

25. Serviceman carrying on a spraying exercise 

26. Wide shot of serviceman carrying on a spraying exercise 

ENDS