Swarms of deadly desert locusts that have devastated food supplies in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia on Sunday entered Uganda through Amudat District, Karamoja region-according to Prime Minister’s office.
The dangerous insects travel in dense, crackling swarms which can contain as many as 80 million locusts per square kilometer and destroying crops crossed, to Uganda on Sunday evening.
The locusts can destroy at least 200 tonnes of vegetation per day.
“I have called an emergency meeting of relevant political leaders& technical officers @OPMUganda at 7pm tonight to immediately swing into action with the preparedness interventions we have been planning to deal with #DesertLocusts,” Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said in a Sunday tweet.
Desert locusts, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations have destroyed vegetation in Kenya as they move toward Uganda.
FAO says the 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.
Martin Owor, the Commissioner Disaster Management Office of the Prime Minister revealed that two air spray planes that have been hired, to contain the insects in Moroto.
Owori said motorized sprayers that will be mounted on pickups and tractors are being mobilized to move to Karamoja sub-region.
Last week Government, allocated Ugx.15bn emergency fund to contain the deadly insects. Government also advised the public to stock enough food as a precautionary measure.
Desert locusts — whose destructive infestations cause major crop damage and hunger — are a species of grasshopper that live largely solitary lives until a combination of conditions promote breeding and lead them to form massive swarms.