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Gov’t Sets Aside UGX 11b to Fight Desert Locusts

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Government has set aside 11 Billion Shillings as part of a contingency plan to fight desert locusts.

Uganda is potentially threatened by the highly mobile and destructive desert locusts which have attacked three East African countries including Kenya, which neighbours Uganda.

Swarms of billions of the locusts are in closing on Turkana the closest county to Uganda.

President Museveni gave the directive to the Ministry of Finance to set aside the money for procurement of the pesticides and other equipment required for the exercise.

The development was confirmed by the Director Extension Services Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries MAAIF Beatrice Byarugaba in an interview.

Byarugaba said another 11 billion shillings is needed to carry out large scale aerial spraying once the desert locusts are confirmed in Uganda.

She also disclosed that 2,000 soldiers have been identified to handle manual spraying in residential areas where aerial spraying is not possible.

According to Byarugaba, the Desert Locust Control Organization to which Uganda subscribes has been contacted to be on alert to fight the pests in Uganda.

Currently, a team of Ugandan experts have been sent to Nairobi on a learning exchange visit.  

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