Residents of Otuke in northern Uganda have been left in panic after desert locusts, which have been causing havoc in the neighbouring Karamoja region spread to the district.
Two swarms of locusts which entered Amudat District from Kenya and spread to the rest of the districts in Karamoja crossed to Otuke on Sunday evening, according to local leaders.
The insects were reportedly seen in Atirayon Parish in Ogwete Sub-county at the Otuke-Napak border. However, there have been no immediate reports on destruction caused by the locusts. Mr Jackson Opio, a resident of Amaracidi Village in Ogwete Sub-county said the locusts had not yet caused much damage.
Otuke District chairman, Mr Bosco Odongo Obote, said the locusts have invaded Agweng, Angaro, Amaracidi, Akodo-kodoi and Angaro villages in Ogwete Sub-county. “Otuke District local government is liaising with government to stump out the locusts before they cause extensive damage,” Mr Odongo told Daily Monitor on Monday.
He said a team of Local Defense Unit (LDU) was immediately deployed and they embarked on spraying the desert locusts in Ogwete Sub-county using hand pumps. The LC5 chairman said the locusts are headed to Olilim and Ogor sub-counties, still in Otuke.
He appealed to local leaders in the affected communities to register all households whose gardens have been destroyed by the locusts for immediate government intervention.
Otuke is just recovering from prolonged dry spell that ravaged the district from October 2018 until late March 2019, when Lango received intermittent rainfall. The pattern affected planting seasons in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, leading to severe food shortages. With the invasion of locusts, residents are worried that they are likely to starve.