The committee is headed by Masindi municipality Mayor Joab Businge, who is deputized by Col. Stephen Muruli the head of Operation Wealth Creation in the area. Others members of the committee are Livingston Kabagambe, Robinah Nyangoma and Patrick Kaahwa, among others.
A 14-member committee has been
set up in Masindi municipality to enhance the fight against desert locusts. The
migratory pests invaded the area last week, crossing through the villages of
Kamunyonga, Kitojo, Kabalye settlement and Kihuuba in Karujubu division Masindi
The midwestern region of the country is the latest to report an invasion of Desert Locusts since they entered the country through Amudat an area in Karamoja that shares a common border with Kenya. The destructive migratory pests have since been cited in Teso, Acholi and Lango regions.
The committee is headed by Masindi
municipality mayor Joab Businge, who is deputized by Col. Stephen Muruli, the head of
Operation Wealth Creation in the area. Others members of the committee are Livingston
Kabagambe, Robinah Nyangoma and Patrick Kaahwa, among others.
Davis Barungi, the Municipal
Agriculture officer says the members will be trained by specialists in locusts
handling and equip them with the knowledge and skills to sensitize communities
on how to deal with the crisis that the infestation presents. He says the same team will work with extension
workers and leaders.
He explained that similar committees
will be formed across all the four divisions in the municipality.
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He added that the community in
Masindi district hasn’t taken the matter seriously, yet the locusts are turning
to be disastrous in other parts of the country.
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Joab Businge, the chairperson of
the task force warned residents of Masindi not to underrate locusts saying that
they can become a disaster if not handled well.
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Although the level of destruction
in Uganda is still minimal and less worrisome, the desert locusts have
destroyed 70,000 hectares of farmland in Ethiopia and Somalia, threatening food
security and livelihoods in both countries, according to the Food and Agriculture
An average swarm, which contains up to 40 million insects,
can travel up to 150 km in a single day devastating livelihoods in their relentless drive to eat and
reproduce. Locust swarms of one square kilometre can eat the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 people and
can devour fields of crops, such as maize and sorghum, and ravage pastures
meant for livestock.
FAO earlier said that this is by
far the biggest swarm in decades and that if left unchecked, the numbers of
could grow 500 fold by June 2020, spreading to several other countries. Somalia and Sudan faced a famine
threat in 2017, but communities have also weathered poor rains, drought, and
floods in the past two years.