Update; What we now know about the desert locust invasion - National | NTV

Update; What we now know about the desert locust invasion

By Racheal Asiimwe

Monday February 10, 2020

 

On Sunday, desert locusts invaded Uganda through Amudat district via North West Pokot in Kenya spreading to Nabilatuk and Nakapiripirit districts in Karamoja


According to Mr Martin Owor, the Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness, in the Office of the Prime Minister, the swarm of Desert Locusts which was 50 km inside Moroto District in Rupa Subcounty at a place called Nakapat is still at the same location.


According to Mr Owor, the other swarm which left Amudat district on Sunday after landing there for about one hour in a place called Kosike and later flying to Nabilatuk/ Nakapiripit areas a distance of about 100kms inland; have today-Monday afternoon set-off flying backwards from Nabilatuk towards Amudat.


“A much bigger swarm from deep inside Kenya has today landed at a place called Kiwawa 3 km inside Kenya and they appear poised to enter Amudat or Moroto Districts anytime,” he said.


Mr Owor adds that there are no desert locusts in all other districts of Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi and rest of the country are still free of the desert locust


Spraying the pests has began today-Monday in Karamoja sub-region and according to Mr Owor, a team of UPDF soldiers and Uganda Wildlife Authority wardens will assist officials from the Ministry of Agriculture to spray the pests.


Desert locusts, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) have destroyed vegetation in Kenya as they move toward Uganda.


They travel in dense, crackling swarms which can contain as many as 80 million locusts per square kilometre.


FAO says the locusts can live for up to five months, depending on weather and local conditions. They can lay eggs that can hatch after two weeks, with locusts maturing to adulthood in two to four months on average.


They can destroy about 192 million kilogrammes of vegetation in two days.