MAAIF equips target districts ahead of expected locusts invasion. Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries has handed over 106 solar powered phones and 23 motorbikes to different districts of Acholi, Lango, Teso, Sebei, Bugisu and Karamoja Sub Regions in the Eastern and Northern parts of Uganda to help in the fight against the Desert Locusts.
The donation is from the Food and Agriculture Organizations (FAO) and the Japan Government under Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
In presence was Jane Akiror, the Principal Assistant Secretary Soroti District, Samuel Enangu, the Vice Chairperson Soroti district, Chief Administrative Officers. Officers at Soroti district Local Government have been tasked to ensure that the operations and maintenance costs are met on time to avoid grounding of motorcycles given to the districts and ensure constant and smooth operations.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report of 06th January 2022, there are a number of small immature swarms in northeast Somalia that formed in the month of December 2021.
The State Minister for Fisheries, Hellen Adoa who also doubles as the Woman MP for Serere district while presiding over the ceremony revealed that the government was preparing for the locusts invasion expected in April this year.
Adoa said that as climatic conditions are drying out in Northern Somalia, swarm movements is still expected to occur and if any swarms reach the Kenya/Ethiopia border, Easterly and South-easterly winds are likely to carry them towards the Rift Valley in Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia. Therefore, there is need for early vigilance and preparedness in the Eastern and Northern Districts of Uganda.
She added that compared to the past two years where the country experienced five waves of locusts swarms between 9th February to October 2019, there is a potential invasion of swarms later this year because they are only present in northeast Somalia and not in eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia where prevailing winds tend not to impede their migration.
Among the strategies and action plan by the Government include; Sensitizing and creating awareness, capacity building for all stakeholders, surveillance, monitoring and mapping of the desert locusts’ spread.