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Mosquito nets used to trap white ants in Karamoja

By Olandason Wanyama

Added 7th May 2017 01:14 PM

The misuse of mosquito bed nets is common across Uganda. In Teso most families use the nets for fishing; others make fences for young chicks and flowers.

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A woman stands by an anthill waiting to harvest white ants in Nakapiripirit district. [Photo by Olandason Wanyama]

The misuse of mosquito bed nets is common across Uganda. In Teso most families use the nets for fishing; others make fences for young chicks and flowers.

The insecticide treated mosquito nets beneficiaries in both Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts have resorted to using nets to trap white ants.
 
A survey carried out by the New Vision established that most families were working against the intended activity of the government of Uganda donation.
 
However, the District Health Inspector Nakapiripirit Philip Athiyo has said using the nets to harvest white ants was an abuse of the government initiative to reduce malaria among the communities.
 
“The government has done its best to ensure people do not contract malaria from female mosquitoes,” he noted adding that the misuse had gone out of hand.
 
Athiyo told a group of residents at Loojor village, Natopojo parish in Nabilatuk Sub County in Nakapiripirit district on Friday.
 
The white ants are a delicacy among the Karimojong. While white ants are usually harvested in the night in others parts of Uganda, in Karamoja the insects are collected in the morning hours between 9.00 and 11.00am.
 
The ants are fried or dried and eaten or stored for future use during the dry season when vegetables are scarce.
 
He warned the residents that the chemicals used in the treatment of nets could be a risk to the consumers of the white ants.
 
The District Health Director Nakapiripirit John Anguzu confirms the rampant abuse of mosquito nets in most villages.
 
He said the move by the communities makes it hard for the health team to bring down the high percentage of malaria in Nakapiripirit.
 
According to Dr. Anguzu, malaria prevalence in Nakapiripirit district stands at 55%.
 
“It’s unfortunate that people do not understand the purpose of these nets yet our malaria prevalence is high,” he said.
 
The misuse of mosquito bed nets is common across Uganda. In Teso most families use the nets for fishing; others make fences for young chicks and flowers.
 
 In Busoga the nets were till of recent used as wedding gowns and curtains in grass thatched cottages for the youths.
 
A total of 24,000 mosquito nets have of recent been distributed in the entire country by government in the past months.
 
 

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