Locusts: Uganda gets Shs7bn as new swarms flock in

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Government has announced two new swarms of locusts that entered the country Wednesday through Kalak village, Amudat and Kabong.

“UPDF ground team is moving to Amudat to start spraying,” said Charlote Kemigyisha, Principal Public Relations Officer NARO.

Hon. Henry Aggrey Bagiire Minister of State for Agriculture visited the locust infested areas.

A swarm of Desert Locusts invaded Kitgum Districts yesterday evening at about 6.00pm.

Victoria University

It came from the direction of Pader and they are still in Orom sub-county in the three villages of Bilayolo, Wulaya and Morocolong of Katwotwo Parish.

There are three UPDF trained spray teams based in Moroto, Katakwi and Abim districts.

All the three UPDF contingents have not yet confronted the elusive Desert Locust.

Part of the Abim team is moving to Orom in Kitgum.

The first aircraft for spraying will arrive in Karamoja on Friday or Saturday.

Government secures Shs7bn

Government has secured another Shs7 billion for the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to combat the locust invasion.

It had earlier earmarked Shs15 billion which the ministry said has already been used up three days after the locust invasion was confirmed in the country.

The insects invaded the country on Sunday through Karamoja Sub-region.

Eggs left behind by Desert Locust in Katakwi

According to Steven Twibejuka, the commissioner crop protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Shs11b out of Shs15b was paid as subscription fee to the Desert Locust Control Organisation for East Africa (DLCO-EA), a regional locusts control body.

The organisation, which boosts of aircraft for aerial spraying of the desert locust, had earlier threatened not to offer any support to Uganda since it has not been paying the fees which it said had accumulated to Shs18b.

Twibejuka said the Shs4b was used to procure pesticides they sourced from Japan that will be used to spray locusts and transport them.

Twibejuka added that Shs7b is needed to facilitate operations of the three aircraft from the locust control body.

Besigye speaks

Opposition figure Kifefe Kizza-Besigye said: “The Yellow (Locust) Plague finally here & causing expected panic due to poor preps! 2 Ministers & a technical team in Nairobi frantically negotiating for aerial spray aircrafts; wrong type of chemicals delivered in Karamoja; soldiers deployed on ground….”

He added: “No prize for predicting the massive corruption that accompanies the “emergency” procurement & assignments! A parliamentary probe or Commission of Inquiry is, for sure, down the road. That’s why….”

Additional reporting by Daily Monitor

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