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Strange storm of desert locusts invade Kapelebyong district

By Beatrice Achan

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“These locusts have taken over the village, it is all over the space, you can feel as if it is about to land on your eyes,” said Rose Akol, a resident of Okungur village.

People of Okungur are in shock after Desert locusts descended in Okungur village of Okungur sub county in Kapelebyong district.

Speaking to Peter Opolot, the LC 1 Chairman of Okungur village, he said they just realised that the locusts were in the area and in no time, all trees and green vegetation in the village were covered.

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

Locals suspect that the locusts might have crossed from Abim district via Obalanga sub county.

On Sunday, another swarm of locusts landed on Alerek rock in Alerek Sub County but were seen flying through Abim Sub County to Magamaga Sub County around 5:00pm.

Locals of Okungur have asked government to intervene and rescue them from the destruction of locusts.

“These locusts have taken over the village, it is all over the space, you can feel as if it is about to land on your eyes,” said Rose Akol, a resident of Okungur village.

On the other hand, residents in the districts of Ngora and Kumi were in panic on Sunday night after another swarm of locusts stormed the two districts in the evening before it was reported to have spread to Serere district.

The victims in the affected villages and those nearby have continued to spend sleepless nights to make loud noice by banging empty jerrycans, blowing weasels among others, as a measure of not letting locusts to settle.

On Monday last week, Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) helicopters airlifted insecticides and handheld sprayers to Karamoja to be used in the control of the locusts.

State Minister for Agriculture Aggrey Bagiire, however allayed fears that the chemicals to be used may be dangerous to human beings, crops or animals.

“These are the usual insecticides used in the control of plant pests like cypermethrine,” Bagiire told journalists at Kololo Airstip as the loading of the equipment was going on.

Bagiire explained that they have dispatched both manual and automatic pumps to Karamoja and said most of the hand spraying will be done in the early morning and evenings before the locusts fly in swarms since at time they rise as far as 2,000 metres in the air.

The spokesman of the UPDF, Brig. Richard Karemire said that the deployment of 2,000 UPDF soldiers to help in the fight against the locusts has started. The officers have been undergoing training from Aswa – Lolim.

State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness Musa Francis Ecweru and Minister for animal industry Bright Rwamirama are already in Nairobi to negotiate for aircraft from the Desert Locust Control Organisation of East Africa to support in aerial spraying of the locusts.

Also read:

Panic as Desert locusts attack Katakwi District.

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