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Ibasi Patricia Tobs-Radio Emmanuel
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 15:04
The outbreak of locusts in Himo-donge Payam of Torit County has put many farmers at risk of hunger as their farms have been destroyed by desert locust.
 
Locusts are a collection of certain species of short-horned grasshoppers.
 
The insects migrate in vast swarms that cause extensive damage to crops.
 
Many of the farmers explain that the destruction of farms product will worsen the standard of living of the local population that only depends on agriculture.
 
They raised concerns over the outbreak of locusts spoiling most of their farm produce, saying they are worried of food insecurity if the situation continues.
 
Chairperson of Greater Himodonge committee Angalafa Sunlight Sereno says there has been poor harvest in the area due to the outbreak.
 
He worries of starvation as many families may not be able to put food on the table.
 
“Generally, the people of Hillieu are good farmers, they have got large farms and they produce this year is relatively poor due to locusts outbreak that have destroyed crops and now people’s harvest is very poor. It has destroyed a lot of crops and poor harvest this time now because of this locust. Otherwise it will affect our children and they will suffer most especially our women who tirelessly worked hard”.
 
Angalafa appeals to humanitarian organizations to deliver aid to the local population.
 
“I would like kindly request that, if there is possibility means or ways of really helping the community, humanitarian especially in the food line, I will appeal to them not only people of Hillieu but greater Himodonge Payam. I am requesting if there is any assistance from any NGO to help us and back us up in giving us food and that will be of great help to the community”.
 
Angelina John, a farmer says they depend much on eating greens to sustain life since their produce was washed away by rain.
 
“Farms in Hillieu here are all washed by rain and the locust also spoil some gardens and only few gardens are harvested which we only keep as seeds even vegetables are all washed by water. There is nothing good that we got. We are only surviving on greens and this is what is making us to survive in this village and also taking firewood to Torit for sale to buy some salt and soap. These are the only thing and also charcoal we do take to Torit to buy some grains to feed the family and this is how we are surviving here”.
 
Another farmer Abau Margaret says the outbreak of locust is as a result of heavy rainfall that has caused destruction to farms in the area.
 
“The thing which is now bad in our farms was heavy downfall of rain. It was too much. When rain was too much, it brought insects which are now destroying farm crops. Insects are so many then. There are also these locusts, they eat crops. You will see the crops as if it has been harvested already, yet nothing has been harvested from it. You find the farm is looking as if it has been harvested, the locust eats the crops day and night”
 
Meanwhile Efren Ofuho Amedeo, a community member of Himodonge Payam calls on the government to intervene so as to rescue them.
 
Amedeo worries of severe hunger in the area as most of their gardens have been destroyed by the insects.
 
“There is a problem here, a very bad thing. There are some things which are eating our crops so much even now there are no grains harvested. We had planted so much here but now these insects are the once eating the crops and now it has brought too much hunger to us here. Please we urge the government to help us. Our children are tired of hunger and we are tired of digging”.
 
Meanwhile, the first Director General of Torit State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Isaac Aleardo advises farmers to get rid of green hopers through burning.
 
Aleardo says his ministry is working hard to support farmers in the area to boost agricultural activities in the state.
 
“we have received report of not locust but we receive report of green hopers it is an insect but within the family of locust so I think it is always happening when there is a lot of rain so what I would advise the farmers to do is just always try to kill them by killing actually using fire but the Government is actually passed the information for what I don’t actually but it in the pipe line”
 
Locusts can cover as much as 150 kilometres or 93 miles a day and an average swarm will destroy crops sufficient to feed 2,500 people for a year, according to UN.
 
Earlier this year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization had reported that desert locust outbreak is threatening pastures and crops on both sides of the Red Sea and could spread to Uganda and South Sudan.
 
 

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