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Large Swarms of Desert Locusts Invade Northern Uganda

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Bosco Ongom Cankura, the Lagoro Sub County Chairperson says the locusts have invaded all the four parishes of Lawko, Laber, Pawidi, And Lalano adding that they are posing threats to farming. Cankura cited that the young locusts have already started destroying maize crops belonging to local farmers in Lalano parish.
A man looks at swarms of locusts that settled on a farmland in gogo village, lugwa parish in labongo akwang subcounty, kitgum district. photo by julius ocungi

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Large swarms of immature adult desert locusts have invaded the three districts of Kitgum, Agago and Pader all in East Acholi. The destructive locusts reportedly entered the region from the neighbouring Abim district in Karamoja region on Tuesday morning.

The Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Wednesday that the locusts arrived in two large groups. The first swarm arrived in Tumangu village in Labongo Akwang sub-county and parts of Okidi parish in Labongo Amida sub-county.

The second swarm which is larger invaded Lalano and Lumule parishes in Lagoro and Kitgum Matidi sub-counties respectively in the evening where they have settled on tree branches. There have also been movements of locusts seen towards Lamwo district and South Sudan.

//Cue in; “locust have come…

Cue out…to Kitgum matidi.”//

Komakech says the locusts are much younger than the first that entered in February this year citing that they comprise of pink, red and few bright yellow colours.  He adds that the locusts have settled on selected high treetops and scattered within a radius of between six and eight kilometres part of which is challenging to spray.

//cue in; “what is strange…

Cue out…this defeated us.”//

He, however, notes that the task force already has the needed manpower stationed at Pajimo Barracks equipped with sprayers and chemicals.

Bosco Ongom Cankura, the Lagoro Sub County Chairperson says the locusts have invaded all the four parishes of Lawko, Laber, Pawidi, And Lalano adding that they are posing threats to farming. Cankura cited that the young locusts have already started destroying maize crops belonging to local farmers in Lalano parish.

He appealed for urgent intervention of the district desert locusts’ task force to spray the locusts before they get out of hand.

In Agago district, the locusts are reportedly entered in the sub-counties of Puywe sub-county, Lukole Adilang, Omot and Wol. Agago Resident District Commissioner Linos Ngompek  says  that some of the locusts’ swarms which are young and destructive have settled in the sub-counties of Lukole, Wol.

He says they have already contacted the Uganda People’s Defense Forces commander in charge of spraying locusts in the region to urgently intervene.

The locusts also reportedly invaded the sub-counties of Latanya and Acholibur in Pader district were they briefly settled on shea nut trees before crossing to Kitgum district. This is the second time desert locusts have invaded the region in less than two months this year.