Kenya uses app in battle against desert locusts
By Baz Ratner
LORUGUM, Kenya (Reuters) - Lorugum village in northwest Kenya is under siege. Hundreds of thousands of young desert locusts perch on trees, shrubs, and in the grass.
Using his smartphone camera, Christopher Achilo takes photos and videos of a tree trunk in the village that is crawling with the pink insects, and uploads the images onto an app.
Achilo is one of a team of locust scouts trained by local aid group ACTED, with the help of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Turkana County regional government, to spot and report sightings using a new application, E-Locust.
The information he and the others collect is sent in real-time to a database in Lodwar, Turkana’s main town, which is then used by another team deployed to spray the insects with pesticides to prevent swarm formation.