Masindi district vector control department has embarked on investigations to identify strange flies that have triggered panic among residents of Kiruuli Sub County. The tiny black flies have mostly affected Kitengule, Kimina East, Nyakarongo, Bagdad and Kyeicumu villages among others.
These villages neighbour Murchison Falls national park. The strange flies invaded the villages on Monday this week, prompting the officials to commence investigations. The vast swarms have triggered among residents for fear that they could spread diseases to humans.
Efforts by the residents to stop the flies by themselves have failed so far. According to the residents, the flies bite both humans and livestock causing intense itching that results in skin rashes.
The residents believe the flies came with some elephants from the Murchison Falls National park that recently raided their crop gardens.
Evas Bigirwa, a resident of Kimina East village, says the situation is unbearable since the flies are everywhere.
Perez Asiimwe, a resident of Nyakarongo village claimed that domestic animals like pigs, goats and cows have started dying as a result of being bitten by the flies.
Geoffrey Bigabwa, the area LC 5 councillor who doubles as the district production, marketing and natural resources secretary, says that many residents have been affected by the flies.
William Mugoya, the Masindi District Vector Control Officer, says district Production department officials have launched investigations to identify the flies and possible ways of eliminating them.
He says that his office has already contacted the vector control division in the ministry of health, which has promised to send a team to the district next week to identify the insects and see how to stop them.