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Kitgum Approves UGX 780 Million Budget To Fight Desert Locust

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William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, who is heading the District Locust Task Force, says the budget will help in the purchase of motorised sprayers to facilitate the team heading the locust fight.
19 Feb 2020 15:26
A man looks at swarms of locusts that settled on a farmland in gogo village, lugwa parish in labongo akwang subcounty, kitgum district this morning. photo by julius ocungi

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Kitgum District Local Government has approved a budget of Shillings 780 million to fight desert locusts that have invaded the district. 

The District LC V Chairperson, Jackson Omona disclosed this during a meeting with the District Locust Task Team.

Omona says the modest budget has been submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to aid the district response towards combating the dreaded insects.

Swarms of desert locusts invaded Kitgum district a week ago in the villages of Bilayolo and Ulaya in Katwotwo Parish in Orom sub county.

They have since been migrating and sighted in Namokora, Omiya Anyima, Kitgum Matidi, Mucwini, labongo akwang and Lagoro Sub counties.

Omona says although the approved budget has already been submitted pending government’s final approval, a total of 40 extension workers will undergo training to respond to the emergency situation.

He said the district is now in the race to end the locust invasion , saying they expect the locust eggs to begin hatching in a few days to come. 

Locusts eggs takes between 10 to 14 days to hatch young ones known as hoppers, which are known to be very destructive compared to adult locusts.

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William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, who is heading the District Locust Task Force, says the budget will help in the purchase of motorised sprayers to facilitate the team heading the locust fight.

He says they need between 40 to 50 motorized spray pumps to help them combat the locusts as Uganda People’s Defense Forces [UPDF] soldiers reinforce them.

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The Kitgum Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev Wilson Kitara, however says government’s response to the locusts’ invasion has been rather too slow.

He says government had already known the country would be invaded by the crop devouring insects but chose to start their response strategies after the locusts had already invaded parts of Karamoja and Acholi.

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Last week, government secured additional Shillings 7 billion for the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to combat the locust invasion in the country. 

Government has since acquired an aircraft and chemicals to boost the fight against the desert locust invasion.

Since invasion of the desert locusts in the country from Kenya, the dreaded pests have spread to 17 districts in Karamoja, Acholi, Teso and Lango sub-regions.