51 Capital, a Nairobi based forex company is empowering young tech-savvy Kenyans to come up with innovative ways to fight the locust scourge being felt in different parts of the country.
The firm which is one of Africa’s biggest forex trading companies has pitched camp both in urban areas and rural settings identifying young talent tasking them with coming up with creative ways of dealing with the national problem.
Consequently, Alex Kibet and Brian Kiprop, two young Kenyans from Eldoret have devised a new method to fight the viral locust menace – a quick drone-like mini-helicopter that can be operated by remote and run from any location.
The device is flown to an area ravaged by locusts and the affected areas are sprayed with pesticides.
The forex company owned by city businessman Joe Kariuki says it is keen to enable the two to strengthen their invention further with initial projections showing that it (the invention) has had a very positive impact in its early stages.
Consequently, they are now testing their invention in different parts of the town.
“This innovation will not just turn heads but lives around. It’s a one of a kind innovation. We have not seen young kids in Kenya do this sort of thing. It’s rare and very unique. We support their efforts a hundred percent,” said Kariuki.
“We are here for the long haul. And we must ensure that our well-equipped and ready to face the markets and not only empower the youth but fuel their dreams ” Kariuki added.
Meanwhile, scientists monitoring the movements of the worst locust outbreak in the country in 70 years and are counting on a new tracking programme they hope will prevent a second surge of the crop-destroying insects.
The UN has described the locust outbreak in the region as ‘extremely alarming‘. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that an imminent second hatch of the insects could threaten the food security for 25 million people, a million more than a half of the entire Kenyan population.