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 the East African country.
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.
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.
Priya Gujadhur, a senior official with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Uganda, told the outlet that in just one day, “one swarm of 40 to 80 million” desert locusts can devour enough food to feed 35,000 people.
“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,” the UN official said.
Ngora County MP Hon David Abala recently slammed the Ugandan government for not doing enough in the country’s north.