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Desert locusts: UPDF change spraying time

Karamoja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | UPDF soldiers deployed to combat desert locusts in Karamoja spent the better part of Tuesday night spraying the devastative insects.

The team sprayed the locusts in the areas of Moruita and Kakomole sub counties in Nakapiripirit, near the border with Nabilatuk district.

Col. Ezra Braruhanga, the 3rd Brigade Commander in charge of Karamoja South, says they resorted to night spraying instead of day time because the insects are less active and less mobile, which makes it the right time to attack and cause maximum impact.

Previously, the soldiers were spraying the insects during day. However, their operations could barely kill the insects, which are very mobile and sensitive to noise.

Nakapiripirit Resident District Commissioner, David Modo lauded the effort of the UPDF, saying they have demonstrated that they are a professional army.

He however expressed worry that the mature locusts may continue to lay eggs capable of hatching in the nearby future and cause more destruction.

However, the plane earmarked for spraying the desert locusts which landed into Moroto on Friday night wasn’t involved in the UPDF operation.

Experts warn the country must brace for future locust invasions. Last week, Evarist Magara from the Desert Locust Control Organisation said swarms of locusts were moving towards Uganda through Lake Turkana in Kenya.

He said the plane would be used to fight desert locust jointly in Uganda and Kenya. This week, government modified another helicopter to boost the fight against locusts.

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