The Prime Minister has called a crisis meeting after desert locusts have finally entered Uganda, the Nile Post has learnt.
Earlier on Sunday afternoon, , Martin Owor, the Commissioner in of Disaster Management in the Office of the Prime Minister said the locusts had been sighted only four kilometres away from the Ugandan border at Amudat but latest reports indicate that the insects have already entered the country.
“A swarm estimated to be about 3,000 has landed in Amudat this afternoon,” Moses Kizige, the State Minister for Karamoja told the Nile Post on Sunday.
Consequently, the Prime Minister has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the way forward after confirmation of the locust invasion.
“I have called an emergency meeting of relevant political leaders and technical officers at 7 pm tonight to immediately swing into action with preparedness interventions we have been planning to deal with desert locusts,”Rugunda tweeted.
The Commissioner in charge of Disaster Management had earlier said 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 hand 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.”