The state minister for agriculture, Bright Rwamirama has revealed that Swarms of desert locusts haven’t caused significant damage to country’s vegetation cover and urged people to report all suspected cases to relevant authorities.
Locusts invaded Uganda On Feb 9th, 2020 through Amudat and have now been sighted in seven districts of Abim, Kabong, Nakapiripirit, Amudat, Agago, Katakwi, Nabilatuk. There are also reports of sightings in Lango, Acholi and West Nile sub-regions.
Since the outbreak, government through its agencies has step up control measures which include rapid spraying in all affected areas with both manual and motorized pumps and sensitization of people. Pesticides in use include Fenitrothion 96 per cent low volume formulation, Malathion which is an organophosphate insecticide commonly used to control mosquitoes and a variety of insects that attack fruits, vegetables, landscaping plants, and Parathyroid insecticides.
“The swarms of locusts in Uganda continue to spread to other districts in the region and laying of eggs is expected to continue while other locust swarms are still entering the Ugandan space from neighboring Kenya.” He said
According to minister, the Ministry of Agriculture is working on a Preparedness and Response plan that includes a related Fund and multi-sectoral committee for Pest and Disease Risk Management.
Originating from Yemen all through to the coast of Somalia, scientists believe harsh environment and the conflict in Yemen have denied the government there an opportunity to marshal efforts to contain the insects.
The eminent threat caused by the locust invasion is to Food Security. Locusts are herbivorous and feed on green vegetation. Human beings and animals may be safe however the crops and grasslands on the other hand are at risk