NAPAK – A strange swarm of desert locusts has invaded Karamoja again covering about three kilometres and settled in Napak district.
The red locust (Nomadacris septemfasciata) is a large grasshopper species found in sub-Saharan Africa, its name refers to the colour of its hind wings and sometimes it is called criquet nomade in French, due to its nomadic movements in the dry season.
According to Mr Juma Ngorok, a resident of Kangole., the locusts have eaten up crops in most of the gardens leaving the local farmers staring at famine in the near future.
“All the years farming has been destroyed and our farmers will have nothing to eat at the end of the season this year,” said Mr Ngorok, a driver
This is the second time a swarm of locusts is entering Karamoja, in April another large swarm of desert locusts estimated to cover about 100,000 acres entered into Uganda and settled in the districts of Karamoja sub-region in northeastern Uganda.
According to the Napak LCV chairman Mr Joseph Lomonyang the locusts entered through Karita border area and have spread throughout Karita sub-county through Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk districts to Napak district.
He told PML Daily that the locusts migrated in dense swarms eating anything they found in gardens that is green, and moved westwards towards Nakapiripirit and Nabilatuk districts before settling in Napak district.
He explained that the district authorities have informed the ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries about the fresh invasion of the Red desert locusts.
This latest invasion of the locusts comes at a time the country is struggling to contain the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic.
In April this year, a team of UPDF soldiers battled with the insects in Namalu sub county Nakapiripirit district where they had settled.
The UPDF team has been spraying the insects in several villages in Namalu, Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts for several hours.
The UPDF spokesperson for Third Division, Maj Peter Mugisa said they are yet to get to Napak to establish the type of Locusts that have invaded the area and that they are going to track movement of these Red locusts in order to inform the UPDF for a response.
“But we are determined to end this locusts invasion in our country, we are going to spray again and we shall end this,” said Maj Mugisa.
Although he said the spraying was not effective because the desert locusts are continuously moving, flying high in the sky, he adds that this time they are going to devise other means of fighting them successfully.
The desert locusts first invaded Uganda on January 19 entering the country through the same Alakas in Amudat district before spreading to other regions but the UPDF managed to kill the insects through hand spraying with assistance from the Desert Locust Control Organization of East Africa.