Uganda on alert locusts
Uganda on high alert as locusts invade Kenya. File Photo

Authorities in Uganda on a high alert following locusts invasion

Following locusts intrusion onto the East African Coast, authorities in Uganda have remained on a high alert to combat the threat presented by the desert locusts.

Reports indicate that the desert locusts have approached parts of East Pakot in Kenya, which is less than 200 kilometres away from the Ugandan border with Kenya.

The Commissioner of Crop Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Stephen Tibeijuka says the resumed rains could worsen the situation.

Tibejuka says if it rains around the Karamoja Sub-region that borders Kenya, the desert locusts that have devastated the semi-arid areas of Kenya may finally end to Uganda.

“So the implications are that if they again cross into these breeding areas, again the eggs that had not hatched because of the sunshine and those unfavourable conditions in these semi-arid areas, we might see more swarms coming out,” Tibejuka said.

“By afternoon yesterday, and partially this morning we have information that these locusts have spread from Baringo into East Pokot and they are approaching West Pokot,” Tibejuka added.

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

Efforts by Kenyan authorities to suppress the locusts nearly paused, because they had encountered a shortage of the chemical used in the spray of these locusts.

“Last week for about a day or two the operations had nearly reached a halt. Because the chemical being used was not available,” Tibejuka revealed.

Kenya deployed five aircraft for its locusts elimination effort, they spray for about 4 hours a day and each aircraft covers about 1,200 hectares.

“With these five aircraft, yes they are overwhelmed and as resources are mobilised we are waiting for the accountant general to clear some of the money cabinets have approved to go and get paid to the DLCO organisation for Eastern Africa,” Tebeijuka revealed.

2200 manual UPDF, Police and agricultural extension team are on standby to fight the locusts, in case they cross over to Uganda.

Tibeijuka then cautioned farmers to be on a high alert and for something strange, he said they should report to the nearest leader.