KAMPALA – The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja has said that Uganda has failed to receive the real sprayers to fight locusts due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
He made the revelations while addressing the press on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.
“The 10,000 litres of Fenitrothoin 96% ULV has not been received due to limited aircrafts flying out of Japan due to the COVID-19 challenge,” he said.
He said that the supplier is trying various methods of shipping the chemical to Nairobi.
“The absence of this chemical hinders the use of aircrafts which are much efficient than the ground operations,” Ssempijja told the press.
Mr Ssempijja said the chemical is not delivered due to the challenges both at the manufacturing facility in Japan and formulation facility in Nairobi.
He added that the ministry is also facing a challenge of scarce nose masks.
“The nose masks (N95) are hard to find as there is stiff competition for them since they are also being used to protect communities from coronavirus.
The desert locusts entered the country through Amudat district on Friday, April 3, 2020.
According to MAAIF, the two swarms that entered have spread inland into Kumi, Katakwi, Otuke and Agago districts as of April 6, 2020.
“Unlike previous swarms, these swams compromise of immature adult desert locusts that recently hatched in Kenya. The immature adult desert locust is a growth stage that still feeds heavily and therefore has the potential to destroy vegetation wherever they go,” said Ssempijja.