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Locusts approach common border of Uganda, Kenya

24 Jan, 2020 - 00:01 0 Views
Locusts approach common border of Uganda, Kenya Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda

The Herald

KAMPALA. – Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the country is on high alert as locusts draw close to the common border with Kenya.

All nine ministries have been instructed to work together to collectively heighten the country’s preparedness to prevent or handle the invasion, said Rugunda in a statement issued here.

The locusts have reached Kenya’s Samburu and Turkana areas, which are close to Uganda’s north-eastern border, he said, citing relevant reports.

Locust

“This is an emergency, and all efforts and agencies must be on alert to play their role in a timely manner,” Rugunda said.

He noted that the agriculture ministry has been instructed to submit a budget to the finance ministry to make clear the resources required to prevent the invasion.

The agriculture ministry earlier indicated that it needed a contingency fund of US$1.35 million to be used for aircraft fuel, pesticides and other supplies.

Rugunda said the government is in touch with Kenya to seek joint efforts to contain the locusts.

Experts have warned that an invasion of locusts would wreak havoc by destroying crops and vegetation and cause famine.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, a very small swarm of locusts eat as much food in one day as about 35,000 people.

Uganda last experienced a major locust invasion 70 years ago, with immense damage on crops, according to the agriculture ministry. – Xinhua

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