The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has announced it has received $3M donation from the Russian federation towards control of desert locusts in Uganda.
The funds which is part of the $10M (Approx. 38BN) Russian donation towards the locust fight in Uganda, was announced on Monday by the Agriculture minister Hon. Vincent Sempijja at the ministry headquarters in Entebbe.
While handing over the cheque, the Russian Ambassador in Uganda, HE. Alexander Pulyakov said the funds will be used to purchase pesticides, fuel, vehicles, and sprayers as well as for employment and training of personnel for the elimination of locusts.
According to Hon. Sempijja, the funds will be channeled through Food Agriculture Organization (FAO –Uganda) to support regional efforts to address the catastrophic invasion of desert locusts in East Africa.
Sempijja said desert locusts first invaded Uganda from Kenya on 9th February through Amudat and Moroto.
He also noted that on 20th May, more swarms entered the country and settled in Kaabong and Kathile, Karenga District.
Sempijja said the swarms were however controlled by the UPDF Locust Control Team through ground spraying while splinter swarms are suspected to have flown into South Sudan.
He noted that Uganda has within the region conducted a more successful desert control program thereby averting a potential loss of over US$800million arising from crops protection of food and cash crops in the affected areas.
He noted that the donation comes amidst challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic but also at a crucial moment to scale up efforts of the Ugandan government in the fight against desert locusts
HE. Alexander said, it is not the first time Russia is lending a helping hand to Uganda following a donation of 218 Kamaz trucks which were handed over to the WFP last year, and another 53 vehicles it donated in 2005 to assist in setting up the Regional Logistics Hub in Kampala.
He said he believes that the Uganda government in collaboration with United Nations and with the support of the Russian Federation will be able to put an end to the locust attack and help the affected communities get back to their feet.