Kampala, Uganda | URN | Large swarms of desert locusts are expected to invade Uganda from Kenya between June and July coinciding with the start of the harvest season in the region.
Swarms of ravenous locusts invaded several districts in Eastern and Northern Uganda at the beginning of this year from Kenya where they had destroyed hundreds of square kilometres of plantations.
State Minister of Agriculture Aggrey Bagiire told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday that surveillance by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization -FAO, the Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa and the World Food Programme (WHO) have revealed that millions of eggs are currently being hatched in several parts of Kenya which pose a danger to Uganda.
He says Uganda currently has no desert locusts as the last big swam that had invaded the country in March was aggressively tackled by the joint task force and they fled to South Sudan. The last swarm was seen on May 26, in the northeast district of Kaabong.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has designated the desert locust upsurge in East Africa as one of its highest corporate priorities this year. The agency however says that the situation is particularly worrisome in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya where swarms of desert locusts are extremely large, highly mobile and are damaging food crops and forage.
Bagiire however says that although Kenya didn’t do a good job like Uganda in killing the locusts and not to allow their eggs to hatch, this time around Uganda is more prepared to tackle them if they invade the country again. The World Bank recently approved 181 billion Shillings to help Uganda fight desert locusts.
Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan among other nations in East and the Horn of Africa were equally affected by the desert locusts. However, the story of the locusts was eclipsed by the coming of the deadly the coronavirus that sent almost the entire world in unprecedented lockdown pushing the locust story aside.