Government warns of locust invasion in Uganda
Government asks Ugandans to store enough food as locusts are predicted to invade Uganda. File Photo

Government asks Ugandans to store enough food as locusts are predicted to invade Uganda

Government of Uganda have warned the general public to store enough food ahead of the anticipated locust invasion. Locusts that have struck neighbouring Kenya have only 4 days to get into Uganda.

In Kenya, the locusts have affected nine counties and are now close to Uganda in Turkana, 300 kilometres away from Uganda Kenya border.

The pace at which the locust’s invention is spreading has left the Ugandan authorities figuring out how to prevent and fight them.

Experts have noticed that the northeastern winds are blowing Uganda direction and as a result, the government has set aside 11bn shillings to facilitate the mitigation process.

Prime Minister of Uganda, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said that government priority is to prevent the locusts from entering Uganda but if the plan fails, an emergency team is on standby to fight the disaster.

“Because of the emergency nature of this problem, for the Ministers and technical officers responsible to quickly deal with the matter so that the damage in case they attack Uganda can be minimised as quickly as possible. Although our priority is to prevent them from coming and i

Prime-Minister-Ruhakana-Rugunda Government warns of locust invasion in Uganda
Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said that government priority is to prevent the locusts from entering Uganda

Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries said that Locusts are close to Uganda and are expected to invade the country through the North-Eastern Regions in Karamoja.

“They have reached Baringo and Turkana. And these areas are just near Ugandan borders, the latest we have by yesterday they were 300 kilometres,” Ssempijja said.

Experts say the unprecedented locusts swarm are as a result of multiple kinds of weather changing factors.

Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness said the government have now embarked on a move to tackle the locusts’ invention to prevent their spread inside Uganda.

He, however, appealed to Ugandans to engage in the fight against the locusts and store enough food to avoid a food crisis.

“Government determines to neutralise these locusts from the source. Now Kenya seems to be the spraying area where they will be sprayed,” Ecweru said.

This involves two spray jets to tackle locusts from the skies, a re-enforced ground 2,000 UPDF soldiers, 1,000 Police personnel and 400 stationed workers who will undergo training and deployment between Karamoja and Acholi regions.

“Mainly caused by the change of the weather and the climatic changes and the projections according to the metrology it might continue up to actually towards June,” Security Minister, Gen Elly Tumwine.

Fighting the locusts attack is projected to cost the government close to 11bn Uganda shillings

But according to Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija the attack is a huge financial setback for Uganda’s economy.

“But me also the Minister in charge of the economy is a big drawback if we get attacked as far as this economy is concerned,” Kasaija said.