William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, who is heading the District Locust Task Force, says the budget will help in the purchase of motorised sprayers to facilitate the team heading the locust fight.
Kitgum District Local Government has approved a budget of Shillings 780 million to fight desert locusts that have invaded the district.
The District LC V Chairperson, Jackson Omona disclosed this during a meeting with the District Locust Task Team.
Omona says the modest budget has been submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to aid the district
response towards combating the dreaded insects.
Swarms of desert locusts invaded Kitgum district a week ago
in the villages of Bilayolo and Ulaya in Katwotwo Parish in Orom sub county.
They have since been
migrating and sighted in Namokora, Omiya Anyima, Kitgum
Matidi, Mucwini, labongo akwang and Lagoro Sub counties.
Omona says although the approved budget has already been
submitted pending government’s final approval, a total of 40 extension
workers will undergo training to respond to the emergency situation.
He said the district is now in the race to end the locust invasion , saying they
expect the locust eggs to begin hatching in a few days to come.
Locusts eggs takes between 10 to 14
days to hatch young ones known as hoppers, which are known to be very
destructive compared to adult locusts.
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William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, who
is heading the District Locust Task Force, says the budget will help in the purchase of motorised sprayers to facilitate the team heading the
He says they need between 40 to 50 motorized spray pumps to
help them combat the locusts as Uganda
People’s Defense Forces [UPDF] soldiers reinforce them.
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The Kitgum Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev Wilson Kitara, however says
government’s response to the locusts’ invasion has been rather too slow.
He says government had already known the country would be
invaded by the crop devouring insects but chose to start their response strategies
after the locusts had already invaded parts of Karamoja and Acholi.
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Last week, government secured additional Shillings 7 billion
for the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to combat the
locust invasion in the country.
Government has since acquired an aircraft and chemicals
to boost the fight against the desert locust invasion.
Since invasion of the desert locusts in the country from Kenya,
the dreaded pests have spread to 17 districts in Karamoja, Acholi, Teso and Lango