Crisis in Lwengo as Black Swallowtail Caterpillars Devastate Crops

Black swallowtail caterpillars. PHOTO/COURTESY

Lwengo District | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Two villages in Lwengo district, namely Kabusilabo and Kyenvunikidde, are in a state of panic as black swallowtail caterpillars have invaded, causing widespread destruction to their crops. These villages heavily depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The caterpillars are indiscriminately devouring maize, beans, coffee, and other crucial crops, leaving a trail of devastation. Local farmers are desperately trying to protect their crops using various methods, as described by Lawrence Kizito, the LC3 chairman for Lwengo rural.

Namukisa Betty, the woman representative from Kabusilabo village, highlighted that these caterpillars not only destroy crops but also pose a threat to human lives and young chicks. They tend to appear more frequently during the dry season and seek shelter during colder weather.

Lwengo district entomologist Mwesigwa Cyrus confirmed the severity of the caterpillar infestation and stressed the need for an immediate response. Local authorities and agricultural experts have been called upon to assess the situation and provide guidance on combating this crisis.

The villagers are anxiously awaiting a solution to this agricultural disaster, hoping to salvage what remains of their harvest and prevent further devastation. They also fear prolonged hunger, as these caterpillars continue to destroy their crops.

However, Kampiire Mary, the Lwengo district agriculture officer, expressed regret over the financial constraints faced by the district’s agricultural sector, citing their limited capacity to combat the infestation. She called for emergency support to tackle the issue before it spreads to other villages due to the caterpillars’ rapid transmission.

Lwengo district RDC Hajji Walugembe Ramadhan assured residents that the government would take immediate action to save crops, birds, and human lives threatened by the caterpillars.

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