Uganda: Lwengo Locals in Panic After Caterpillars Attack Villages, Destroy Crops

Ssengendo — Locals in two villages in Lwengo district are in panic following the invasion of black swallowtail caterpillars that have destroyed their crops.

The two affected villages are Kabusilabo and Kyenvunikidde both in Lwengo rural sub county where locals heavily rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The black swallowtail caterpillars have been devouring everything in their path, leaving a trail of destruction. Fields of maize, beans, coffee and other essential crops have fallen victim to this pestilence. Desperate farmers are struggling to fend off the invaders, using various methods to try and protect their crops,” Lawrence Kizito, the LC3 chairman for Lwengo rural said.

Kabusilabo village woman representative Namukisa Betty said these caterpillars are not only destroying crops, but are also dangerous to human lives and chicks.

She added that they mostly appear during the dry season.

“In this cold weather there are not many. They hide themselves but when it shines they all come out of their covers and appear everywhere. They dig holes on the ground its where they mostly cover themselves.”

The Lwengo district entomologist Mwesigwa Cyrus confirmed the danger poses by the caterpillars that invaded Lwengo, noting that there is need for immediate response.

Local authorities and agricultural experts have been called in to assess the situation and offer guidance on how to combat this caterpillar infestation.

Villagers are anxiously waiting for a solution to this agricultural crisis, hoping to salvage what’s left of their harvest and prevent further devastation.

They also have a fear of prolonged feminine since these caterpillars mostly destroy their crops.

However, Lwengo district agriculture officer Kampiire Mary regretted the financial difficulties faced by Lwengo district agricultural sector and said they do not have capacity to fight them.

“There is an emergency office let it come out and support us so that we fight these caterpillars before extending to other villages because their speed of transmission is high.”

The Lwengo district RDC Hajji Walugembe Ramadhan promised residents that the government is going to take action immediately to save crops, birds and human beings who are threatened by the caterpillars.