Authorities in Uganda are racing to contain the current generation of desert locusts striking the region and have enlisted soldiers from the nation’s army to assist with the matter.
Agricultural officers and soldiers from the Uganda People’s Defense Force have been called upon by the government to work together in coating crops with chemicals to ward off and eliminate the destructive desert locust swarms that have invaded East Africa.
The AFP reported that some 160 soldiers were sent to the northern Ugandan village of Atira to spray trees and plants with pesticides that would kill locusts that attempted to devour or rest on the vegetation.
Earlier this month, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries to devote closer attention and more aid to the ongoing “infestation” of desert locusts in East Africa.
The UN has issued an urgent appeal for assistance. I ask the international community to respond with speed and generosity to ensure an effective response and control the infestation while we still have the chance.
Speaking to the AFP, a 73-year-old farmer in northern Uganda’s Lopei village named Zakaria Sagal said that he was “surrounded” by desert locusts when he attempted to plant maize and sorghum.
“We have not yet planted our crops, but if they return at harvest time, they will destroy everything. We are not at all prepared,” he confessed.
Rwamirama noted that Somalia, which declared a national emergency earlier this month over the desert locust infestation, and Oman are experiencing the worst results of the insect swarms.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Intoxication News 2020.