KAMPALA – The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), awarded a new activity this week to confront the desert locust infestation threatening eastern and northeastern Uganda.
USAID’s $134,862 investment will support the Government of Uganda to take measures against the infestation and its devastating impacts on people’s livelihoods and food security. The locust outbreak, the worst in decades in East Africa, is affecting the farming and cattle herding communities in Karamoja, Teso, Acholi, and Lango, some of the poorest and most marginalized regions in Uganda.
This USAID Feed the Future program, implemented by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich in London, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), will train officials in the national and district governments and the communities they serve to perform intensive desert locust control and surveillance activities to detect and reduce locust populations, prevent more swarms from forming, and avoid the swarms spreading to other areas.
The current massive outbreak affects thousands of hectares of cropland and pasture and poses a serious threat to over 1.3 million people in Uganda. Diligent and effective action to control and reduce the desert locust infestation is key to preventing households from falling deeper into poverty and facing hunger.
“We are concerned about the well-being of the farmers and rural populations in eastern Uganda, who are in danger of facing hunger as a result of destroyed crops and livelihoods. The activity will provide immediate assistance to the Government of Uganda to help prevent the spread of locust swarms and mitigate their disastrous impact on people’s lives,” said USAID Country Director Richard Nelson.
USAID, through the Feed the Future initiative, works in partnership with the Government of Uganda to develop the Ugandan agriculture sector, helping people feed themselves and creating important opportunities for a new generation of young people to strengthen Uganda’s well-being and prosperity.