Uganda Gets Five UN Trucks to Enhance Locust Fight

26 February 2020

The United Nations (UN) through its World Food Programme (WFP) has offered five food trucks to the government of Uganda to help transport equipment to districts invaded by locusts.

While handing over the trucks at the UN World Food Programme offices at Kabusu, Kampala on Wednesday, the UN head, supply chain unit, Oleh Maslyukov said the trucks have been offered after a request by the government of Uganda through its Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and fisheries.

Maslyukov said they had to respond immediately because Uganda is a major food basket for the region and that they could not afford as locusts cause destruction in the affected districts.

"The trucks will be operating initially from Soroti and Karamoja districts to other areas. There is an interest from WFP in fighting locusts because we are buying a lot from the Ugandan market. It is really in the interest of WFP to get more crops on the local market that will be available for in-country programs and for the region as well," Mr Maslyukov said.

In 2018 the UN bought 200 metric tons of food produce for $50 million, In 2019 they bought 53 metric tons while in 2020 they have so far bought 35 Metric tons of food produce from Uganda.

The humanitarian organization says they hope to increase to 100.

So far, Uganda has received UN support worth $1.3 million.

Bill and Melinda Gates commit $10 million for desert control

Meanwhile, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $10 million to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help in the fight against locusts in the East African region.

The foundation joined several other donors in responding to FAO's urgent appeal to contain the crisis.

The money will help three countries among them; Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

The locust invasion is the worst Kenya has seen in 70 years, and the worst in nearly a generation in Somalia and Ethiopia.

Djibouti and Eritrea are also affected, and swarms are reported in Tanzania and Uganda.

The foundation's support is intended to help FAO and national governments confront the critical need for rapid control of the infestation, including aerial control of large swarms.

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