UGANDA: Chemical spraying to begin as locusts spread across Karamoja

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Desert locusts had by Monday evening spread to Six districts in Karamoja as government raced against time to deliver the chemicals used to spray the deadly insects.

An update from the Office of the Prime Minister indicated that the insects that entered the country through Amudat District in Karamoja Sub-region on Sunday afternoon, have now spread to Moroto, Nabilatuk, Nakapiripirit, Napak, and Abim districts in Karamoja.

” Swarm of locusts was reportedly seen at Alerek Hill in Labwor County of Abim District,” an update shared by Mr Martin Owor, the commissioner disaster preparedness and management at the Office of the Prime Minister, read.

The government delivered to Karamoja 18,000 litres of cypermethrin and another 18,000 litres of Chlorpyrifos to spray the locusts.

Stephen Byantwale, the commissioner for crop protection in the Agriculture ministry,  said the government is al struggling to get aircraft for aerial spraying. He said two ministers had gone to Kenya to negotiate for two aircraft to do the work.  He said in the meantime, the motorised vehicle sprays and foot troops will be spraying the chemicals sent to the affected area.

“We are waiting for a feedback from our team in Nairobi. Mr Musa Ecweru and Mr Bright Rwamiramaare talking with the Kenyan government. We hope by today evening they will have finalised,” he said.

The commissioner also said the government will start with a 10 litre-capacity drone donated by a company called Kingdom Rice Limited in Bulambuli to do the aerial spraying as plans to acquire the planes continue.

On the pattern of movement of the locusts, Mr Byantwale said all the districts neighbouring Karamoja are at risk of the locust invasion

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