Suspected deadly Desert Locusts in Masaka turn out to be Grasshoppers

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Suspicious; The insects mistaken to be locusts; Online Photo

Tension gripped residents of Buwunga, Masaka District on Tuesday when they spotted rare insects they suspected to be deadly desert locusts in their gardens.

News of a suspected invasion spread like wildfire as residents feared for the worst.

However, according to Masaka District Chairperson Jude Mbabali, it has been confirmed that the insects are not desert locusts but just grasshoppers. Mbabaali also disputed a news report by Bukedde TV on the alleged locust invasion, as false.

Posting on his Facebook wall, Mbabaali said the District Entomologist inspected the area and confirmed the green and yellowish insects are not desert locusts as earlier perceived.

Swarms of desert locusts have ravaged several African countries including Somalia and Kenya leaving devastation in their wake. The insects have also attacked parts of Sudan, Djibouti, and Eritrea.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is calling it East Africa’s worst desert locust invasion in 25 years. In Somalia, the government declared a national emergency because of locusts.

On February 04, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture said they are stocking pesticides to fight desert locusts as they approach Uganda from the eastern border, but noted that limited financial commitment from the government of Uganda would complicate the capability to arrest the invasion.

The ministry last month reported they need 5BN to avert the looming invasion of locusts.

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