Ugandans, Somalis eat desert locusts in desperate bid to fight invasion
London, Feb. 23, 2020 (AltAfrica-People in Uganda’s northern district of Kitgum and their counterpart in Somalia are eating and turning desert locusts that have devoured their crops into delicious meal
Roasting and eating the desert locusts appears to be the last resort after all efforts to curb and end the invasion that have caused havoct to crops in East African states have so far not yielded positive results
Uganda Radio Network (URN) reports that poor harvests in the area have forced residents to make locusts their alternative sources of food.
Kitgum residents turn invading #locusts into food. "When they come, they are caught, boiled, dried and fried before being served to children and even adults. We currently have limited food because of the poor harvest last year…" https://t.co/CBlcpwwMkT #Uganda #foodsecurity pic.twitter.com/CCpEKbVILv— The Observer (@observerug) February 20, 2020
Photos shared by the Observer newspaper showed locals preparing locusts for cooking:
Christine Abalo, a resident of Gogo village and mother of five, told URN she decided to catch the locusts to taste its delicacy, since elderly people told them they are edible.
Beatrice Alanyo, another resident said she caught two whole basins of locusts and is awaiting the verdict of district leaders on whether they are safe for consumption due to the ongoing spraying.
Somalia is similarly facing its worst invasion of locusts in 25 years, but some people are turning the desert insects into delicious meals.
Local media reports show residents of Adado town, in central Somalia, frying the locusts and eating them with rice and pasta. One man said they are tastier than fish.
Another man told Universal Somali TV that he believes the insects have medicinal properties and he eats them in the hope of reducing his back pain and blood pressure.
Some residents are urging local restaurants to introduce locust dishes.
The infestation, affecting parts of Somalia and Ethiopia, has destroyed crops and threatens food security in the region, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has said
But some were concerned about possible health problems because the Ugandan government has been spraying locust-infested areas with pesticides to try to halt the spread.
Mr John Bosco Komakech, Kitgum district’s vector control officer, told the news agency that consuming desert locusts isn’t harmful and says those caught by locals hadn’t been sprayed yet.
BBC reports that desert locusts have devastated farmers in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South Sudan in what has been described as the worst invasion in 25 years.