Black flies and tsetse flies have invaded Nwoya district causing panic among residents and the farming households.
Tsetse flies that cause sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock are a common sight and are currently breeding in at least three parishes in Lii Sub County including Langele, Lutuk and Lii, all of which are neighbouring Murchison falls national Park, which is a wildlife reserve.
Several farmers in the area are worried of reduced productivity if the situation is not contained.
Walter Odong Lakidi, a livestock farmer in Langele Parish says the insects have made life difficult for people and livestock, raising fears of an eminent outbreak of diseases.
“These insects are biting people here and we are also worried of our livestock. They are denying us access to our gardens especially early morning and late in the evening as they feed on human beings and livestock. Seriously this may lower productivity this second season”, he said.
Rosemary Apio, another farmer from Lutuk Parish says there is a looming threat of hunger if the situation is put under control.
“Large swarms of these are causing us panic. There is no way we can even relocate to other places because it will be difficult to start a new life in another area. We are so worried for ourselves and even our animals here. Our lives depend on these animals and we want to call for intervention from the local leadership of the Sub County and the district leadership to come to our rescue”, she said.
A number of farmers in the area are currently applying burnt oil on their animals to help salvage the situation.
Justine Odong, the LC3 Chairperson Lii Sub County says together with the technical officers, they have installed close to 100 trap nets at some hot spots including Langele to attract and trap the flies and avoid spread to other neighbouring Sub Counties.
Meanwhile Dr James Ukwir, the Nwoya district veterinary officer has confirmed receiving several complaints of the invasion of the insects.
He says a team from the Ministry of Agriculture and those from the district has been dispatched to conduct an assessment on the extent of invasion before any intervention can be scaled down to the affected areas.
He however expressed fears that immediate interventions might be proof difficult owing to the fact the district is also battling foot and mouth disease given the limited resource envelope.
COVER PHOTO: One of the animals affected by tsetse flies in Nwoya. Photo by Chris Woo.