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Panic as Desert locusts attack Katakwi District.

By Benjamin Epeduno

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Swarms of Desert locusts pictured atop of a tree in Palam sub county this morning.

Desert locusts that invaded Uganda through Amudat District from North West Pokot in Kenya on Sunday, have now spread to Katakwi district in Teso region.

On Monday at about 3:00pm, the said locusts entered Katakwi District through Napak District, and locals reveal that, it passed in Olilim primary school moving in swarms surrounding the sub-counties of Ngariam and palam.

Residents in the sub-counties of Palam and Ngariam were yesterday hosting the dangerous desert locusts in fear that, authorities had not responded.

The district Chairperson, Walter Elakas Okiring confirms that locusts have invaded Katakwi district in Palam sub county.

“The locusts are already seen in the villages of Acoite, Akwaradada and Tumtum and the numbers are in millions,” said Elakas.

Hon Charles Aleper, the district councilor for Akoboi sub county, showing desert locusts at Katakwi district offices this morning.

The Usuk county MP, who also doubles as the state Minister for ICT and communications, Peter Ogwang, says that public should report such cases to LC’s and security forces so that they quickly respond.

Ogwang also confirmed that a team of UPDF soldiers and Uganda Wildlife Authority wardens will assist officials from the Ministry of Agriculture to spray the pests.

“I will be flying in with the technical team from the Ministry of Agriculture and UPDF to Palam subcounty today at 10:00 am,” confirmed Ogwang.

According to the report, the government has procured 2,000 manual pumps and 18,000 liters of cypermethrin and chlorpyrifos chemicals.

An explanation of the movement of Desert Locusts. COURTESY PHOTO

According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO), desert locusts can live for up to five months, depending on weather and local conditions. They can lay eggs that can hatch after two weeks, with locusts maturing to adulthood in two to four months on average.

They can destroy about 192 million kilograms of vegetation in two days and they travel in dense, crackling swarms which can contain as many as 80 million locusts per square kilometer.

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