Home Economy Uganda pays 40-year-old bills in desperate fight against locust infestation

Uganda pays 40-year-old bills in desperate fight against locust infestation

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It has been confirmed on Wednesday that the Ugandan Cabinet during an extraordinary meeting on Monday decided to allocate additional funds to fight the locust invasion. It is planned to spend an extra Ush7 billion ($1.8 million) to prevent a food and humanitarian crisis that locust swarms pose.

The Cabinet decision came to light right after the government of Uganda had announced that $3 million of the initial $4 million reserved for the same was used to pay membership arrears to the Desert Locusts Control Organisation for East Africa (DLCO-EA).

The regional organisation comprised of States Parties including Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Djibouti and Somalia.

It has to be mentioned that even after paying the arrears, Uganda still has to pay down a Member State’s debt of an extra $2 million. Uganda, Sudan along with Eritrea and Somalia, are the main debtors.

The last time Uganda had paid its membership fees was in 1980 when the country joined the organisation.

“Each member partner is supposed to pay $120,000 per year,” Evarist Magara, the Country Representative for DLCO-EA said.

Magara also added that Uganda’s debt had increased to $5 million accumulated over nearly 30 years of non-payment. Sudan is said to owe $6 million.

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