Government has prepared teams in anticipation of a possible invasion of desert locusts that have in the past weeks wreaked havoc in neighbouring Kenya.
In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, Martin Owor, the Commissioner in of Disaster Management in the Office of the Prime Minister said the locusts have been cited only four kilometres away from the Ugandan border at Amudat.
“The desert locusts are now only 4kms inside Kenya from the border on Amudat side. According to the District Agricultural Officer for Amudat, the locusts are currently in a place called Kiwawa in Kenya,”Owor said in a statement.
He added that the desert locusts that are less than an hour from Uganda are expected to approach Amudat district through Abwalinga and Ngongosowon villages in Amudat sub-county.
President Museveni early this week said government is ready to decisively deal with the locusts in case they cross to Uganda.
According to the Commissioner in charge of Disaster Management the UPDF has already assembled a team to assist the Ministry of Agriculture in ground spraying and that the team is on standby at Olilim barracks.
“The OPM Disaster department has delivered to Olilim Barracks to facilitate the spray teams items including food (15 tons rice, 15 tons Maize flour); other logistics -( tents, sleeping mats, water containers, cooking, eating vessels among others,” Martin Owor said.
He added that the Uganda Wildlife Authority has assembled 85 personnel ready for deployment whereas the Agriculture ministry has deployed surveillance teams in Moroto and Amudat.
The commissioner said the Agriculture Ministry is also rapidly delivering to Karamoja 100 back held motorized spray pumps and 200 manual handheld spray pumps as more are being procured.
“Two hired air spray planes will be in Moroto as soon as possible whereas the Minister for Agriculture, Minister for East African Community and the Minister for Disaster management have today Sunday travelled to meet their Kenyan counterparts in Nairobi on cross border spraying agreements.”
He noted that the Prime Minister will later today chair an emergency meeting of responsible political and technical officers to discuss the matter.