Desert locusts invade Uganda from neighboring Kenya

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/2/10 15:36:24

Farmers attempt to scare away locusts from their farms in Mwingi North, Kenya, Jan. 29, 2020. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said late in January that it requires 7 billion shillings (about 70 million U.S. dollars) to tackle the locust plague that has already infested the Horn of Africa. (Xinhua/Fred Mutune)


Desert locusts on Sunday crossed from neighboring Kenya into Uganda through Amudat in the northeastern part of the country, a government official said here.

"It's true they (locusts) have entered into Uganda. They are already inside Amudat district," Martin Owor, commissioner in charge of disaster management, told Xinhua by telephone.

Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda called for an emergency meeting later on Sunday, Owor said, adding that the government has a plan to fight the locusts, which migrated from Kenya's Turkana and Samburu areas.

He said that security personnel and surveillance teams have already been deployed to help fight the pests, and that Uganda's government officials on Sunday travelled to Kenya to meet their counterparts on agreements to allow spray planes to cross borders.

Uganda last week released 15 billion shillings (about 4.5 million US dollars) as a contingency fund to help fight the locusts.

The East African country last experienced a major locust invasion 70 years ago, which caused immense damage on crops, according to the agriculture ministry.

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the desert locust is considered as the most destructive migratory pest in the world and a small swarm covering one square kilometer can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.

Posted in: AFRICA

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