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locusts

UGANDA: Government in a panic as locusts takeover Kidepo national park.

UGANDA: Government in a panic as locusts takeover Kidepo national park.

AFRICA, locusts, UGANDA
Government has stayed away from spraying swarms of desert locusts that have invaded Kidepo National Park for fear of antagonising wild animals. Addressing journalists at the media centre in Kampala yesterday, the minister for Agriculture, Mr Vincent Ssempijja, said whereas the chemical used to spray the locusts has no effect on people and domestic animals, they are not sure how wild animals will react to the invasion. “Other swarms have camped in the national park and we cannot spray them because it may affect tourism and experts have warned us against it,” Mr Ssempijja said.“They (locusts) have camped in the valley where buffaloes breed, and you know these animals have not been violent towards people and tourists but if we spray them, they may react violently. Experts are o...
AFRICA: Media statement on Desert Locust Control, Operations in Northern and Eastern Uganda.

AFRICA: Media statement on Desert Locust Control, Operations in Northern and Eastern Uganda.

AFRICA, locusts, UGANDA
INTRODUCTIONMembers of the Media Fraternity present, you are aware of the Desert Locust Invasion in Uganda that started one month ago as per previous media statements shared.  Today I will provide an update on the status of the desert locusts in the affected Districts and the measures undertaken by Government to bring the invasion under control. SITUATION OF DESERT LOCUSTS IN UGANDASwarms of desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) continue invading Uganda from neighbouring Kenya through Karita and Loroo sub-counties in Amudat District in Karamoja sub-region, after having ravaged several parts of Kenya, causing food shortages. The desert locusts have since been sighted in 24 districts in Teso, Lango, Acholi, Sebei and Bugisu sub-regions. The affected Districts as of 6th March,...
ASIA: Army of 100,000 Chinese ducks on standby to battle locust swarms.

ASIA: Army of 100,000 Chinese ducks on standby to battle locust swarms.

ASIA, locusts
A troop of special Chinese ducks is waiting to be deployed to neighbouring Pakistan to fight a swarm of crop-eating pests that threaten regional food security. At least 100,000 ducks are expected to be sent to Pakistan as early as the second half of this year to combat a desert locust outbreak, according to Mr Lu Lizhi, a senior researcher with the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The ducks are "biological weapons" and can be more effective than pesticide, said Mr Lu, who is in charge of the project in tandem with a university in Pakistan. "One duck is able to eat more than 200 locusts a day," Mr Lu said in a telephone interview on Thursday (Feb 27), citing results of experiments to test the ducks' searching and predation capabilities. A trial will start in ...
UGANDA: Grasshopper trappers in Masaka appeal to government over fight against locusts.

UGANDA: Grasshopper trappers in Masaka appeal to government over fight against locusts.

AFRICA, locusts, UGANDA
Grasshopper trappers in Masaka Sub region have petitioned the government to allow them join the fight against the destructive desert locusts that invaded the country. Under their umbrella Old Masaka Basenene Association Limited (OMBAU), the grasshopper trappers say that they can fight and end the problem of destructive locusts. Mr Kuraish Katongole, the national chairperson OMBAU said they have written to Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Vincent Ssempijja expressing interest in the fight against locusts at a low cost without using praying pesticides that affect the environment. “We have been in this trade of trapping grasshoppers for 30 years and they are similar to desert locusts and we have the capacity to catch more than 500 bags of locus...
AFRICA: UN warns of ‘possible hunger threat’ as locusts reach DR Congo

AFRICA: UN warns of ‘possible hunger threat’ as locusts reach DR Congo

AFRICA, Democratic Republic of Congo, locusts
This is the first time the voracious insects have been seen in the Central African country since 1944. Kenya, Somalia and Uganda have been battling the swarms in the worst locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in 70 years. The U.N. said swarms have also been sighted in Djibouti, Eritrea and Tanzania and recently reached South Sudan, a country where roughly half the population already faces hunger after years of civil war. A joint statement Tuesday from FAO director-general Qu Dongyu, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock, and World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley called the swarms of locusts “a scourge of biblical proportions” and “a graphic and shocking reminder of this region’s vulnerability.” The FAO said mature locusts, carried in part by t...
AFRICA: Ethiopia races against time to control locusts as the planting season starts.

AFRICA: Ethiopia races against time to control locusts as the planting season starts.

AFRICA, AGRICULTURE, Ethiopia, locusts
Cross-border swarm movements with Kenya and breeding continues in Southern EthiopiaROME, Italy, February 25, 2020/ -- The Government of Ethiopia is racing against time to control Desert Locusts as the February – May Belg season starts.With support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture is scaling up aerial and ground operations in Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' (SNNP) regions – Belg crop-producing areas."We are at a critical stage at which we need to save the next and subsequent harvests and safeguard the livelihood of the population," said Fatouma Seid, the FAO Representative in Ethiopia.FAO's surge support boosts operations as funding gap growsSo far, FAO Ethiopia has recei...
UGANDA: Agriculture ministry urges for more Shs16b to fight locusts

UGANDA: Agriculture ministry urges for more Shs16b to fight locusts

AFRICA, AGRICULTURE, locusts, UGANDA
The Ministry of Agriculture has asked for another Shs16 billion to fight locusts. The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Vincent Sempijja, said the money is needed to control the locusts that have now spread to 23 districts. “We have asked for more Shs16 billion. Of this, Shs9b will be for the UPDF response team, Shs5.6b will be used to buy more chemicals and the rest shall be used to support lower local governments,” he told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. “Locust swarms have now been confirmed in the regions of Karamoja, Teso, Acholi, Lango and Sebei,” he added. If the money is provided, it will bring the money allocated to locust control to Shs38 billion given that Shs22 billion had earlier been allocated for the purpose. Mr Sempijja dismissed claims...
EAST AFRICA: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) welcomes $10 million donation from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa

EAST AFRICA: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) welcomes $10 million donation from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa

AFRICA, EAST AFRICA, locusts
ROME, Italy, February 24, 2020/ -- FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today welcomed a $10 million donation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the fight against the Desert Locust upsurge in East Africa as the UN agency expanded its appeal. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said its donation would assist FAO as it supports governments in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia to combat  locust infestation that is posing a significant threat to food production and livelihoods in the region. "I want to thank the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its generous support as the Desert Locust threatens to provoke a humanitarian crisis," Qu said.  "I urge other donors to follow their lead so we can protect rural livelihoods and assist farmers and their ...
EAST AFRICA: Experts warn Ugandans about ‘Locusts’.

EAST AFRICA: Experts warn Ugandans about ‘Locusts’.

AFRICA, EAST AFRICA, FEATURE STORIES, locusts, UGANDA
The state Minister for Animal Industry Mr. Bright Rwamirama has noted that the locusts have been laying eggs and should the latest eggs hatch, Uganda may be faced with an outbreak. The minister made the remarks on February 18, while he was addressing the press at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala. According to Rwamirama, the swarms of locusts continue to spread to other districts in the region and laying of eggs is expected to continue while other locust swarms are still invading Uganda from Kenya. “It is worth noting that a female locust lays at least 300eggs in one sitting and will lay eggs three times in its lifecycle,” he said. Rwamirama said that the existing locusts have not caused significant damage to vegetation cover however, there’s is an imminent threat to f...