In sub-counties of Gweri, Kamuda and Soroti, a number of residents are seen screaming, drumming, blowing whistles, sounding pans and throwing stones to chase away the migratory pests which invaded the area more than a week ago.
Communities in Teso sub-region
have employed local methods to chase desert locusts from their villages.
In sub-counties of Gweri, Kamuda
and Soroti, a number of residents are seen screaming, drumming, blowing
whistles, sounding pans and throwing stones to chase away the migratory pests
which invaded the area more than a week ago.
In urban settings like
Western Division of Soroti Municipality, residents played loud music as
motorcycles hooted to ensure that the swarm flying over their roofs did
not land in any neighbouring bushes or gardens. Locusts eat everything
destroying the crops and pasture wherever they go.
Desert Locusts, according to
scientists, are sensitive to sound and movement. This scares them away, in most
cases making their settlement in a particular area difficult. Gerald Omoit, a
resident in Gweri Sub County says they had no choice but to make noise for the
locusts to continue flying.
“We are told that whenever those
insects land in an area, they cause devastating effects. We wouldn’t want to
wait for them to eat our crops. That is why we joined hands in the village to
chase them away”, he said.
Daniel Toroitich, an elder from Katikekile sub-county in Moroto district, says that in the 60s when locusts last invaded Uganda,
elders were advised to make noise to chase away the voracious insects, a method
which he says was not very effective.
But the approach by residents has
been condemned by officials in the ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and
Fisheries. State Minister for Agriculture, Aggrey Bagiire says the approach
will make the insects spread to different places faster than they should have
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Dr Patience Rwamigisa, the
Commissioner for Agriculture Extension Services says chasing away locusts makes
their control operations on the insects very difficult.
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Desert Locusts have
to all districts in Karamoja and Teso sub-regions since their invasion
February 9, through Amudat and Moroto.
According to scientists, extreme
weather patterns in the Indian Ocean, caused by climate change, created the perfect conditions for locusts to breed and
spread from Yemen to East Africa. They have so far been reported in
Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan among other countries where they have devastated plantations and left communities in sire need.
Latest predictions by the Food and Agricultural Organisation show that the
locust infestation in East Africa could drive more than 13 million people
deeper into a hunger crisis and increase the risk that more children will die
The government on Saturday received a plane that will be used to aid the aerial spray of locusts in different parts of the country.