Uganda army fights voracious desert locusts
Otuke: Under a warm morning sun scores of weary soldiers stare as millions of yellow locusts rise into the northern Ugandan sky, despite hours spent spraying vegetation with chemicals in an attempt to kill them.
From the tops of trees, fields of pea plants and tall grass savanna, the insects rise in a hypnotic murmuration, disappearing quickly to wreak devastation elsewhere.
The soldiers and agricultural officers will now have to hunt the elusive fast-moving swarms -- a sign of the challenge facing nine east African countries now battling huge swarms of hungry desert locusts.
They arrived in conflict-torn South Sudan this week, with concerns already high of a humanitarian crisis in a region where 12 million are going hungry, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
“One swarm of 40 to 80 million can consume food” for over 35,000 people in a day, Priya Gujadhur, a senior FAO official in Uganda, told AFP. - AFP