Aircraft for spraying locusts lands in Moroto

Friday February 21 2020

The aircraft from Nairobi landed at Moroto

The aircraft from Nairobi landed at Moroto District airfield Friday evening. PHOTO BY TONNY ABET 

By TONNY ABET

Uganda response team against desert locusts has finally received an aircraft from Desert Locust Control Organisation of East Africa (DLCO-EA), to help in the fight as more swarms invade the country.

The revelation was made Friday evening by Uganda representative for DLCO-EA, Mr Evarist Magara. The aircraft from Nairobi landed at Moroto District airfield.

He said the aircraft was going to be used in surveillance and aerial spray operations.

"The spray aircraft is ready for necessary aerial survey and spray operations," Mr Magara said.

He said the organisation has been central in helping Uganda respond to other invasive pests such as fall armyworm that attacked last year.

"DLCO-EA supports Ugandan government in control of migratory pests such as armyworm, tsetse fly and quelea birds that eat food grains in the garden among others

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Mr Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview: "I shall be receiving it officially tomorrow (Saturday)."

According to locust control experts, aircraft is the most effective response equipment compared to the use of vehicle mounted sprays and knapsacks which UPDF soldiers on ground were using to combat the locusts.

Earlier this month, minister Ecweru and Lt Col Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Industry, along with technocrats from DLCO-EA, traveled to Kenya for negotiations with the authorities to release the aircraft they used to spray locusts in the east.

The aircraft according to Mr Rwamirama, was cleared on Monday by Civil Aviation Authority for air operations.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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