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Special Commitee Set Up to Tackle Locust Invasion in Masindi

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.

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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 municipality. 

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.  

//Cue in; “Masindi Municipality about… 

Cue out…Fight these locusts.”//   

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. 

//cue in; “The community hasn’t…

Cue out… let's prepare ourselves.”//   

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.  

//Cue in; “Kandi task force…

Cue out…Ekosereki eri hanu.”//    

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 Organisation-FAO. 

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.  

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