Mosquito Nets being used to Trap White Ants

2193 Views Kitgum, Uganda
Some residents of Kitgum district are using insecticide treated mosquito nets to trap white ants. Bosco Komakech, the Kitgum malaria focal person, said some people who received free mosquito nets from government and relief organizations use them as traps around anthills to harvest white ants. He told a group of camp residents from Padibe West, who gathered to receive mosquito nets from the Uganda Red Cross Society on Tuesday that the abuse of the nets was quite rampant. White ants are a seasonal delicacy among the Acholi. They are usually harvested at night by attracting them with light. The ants are fried in their own fat or dried and mixed with groundnut and simsim paste to make a delicious meal. Komakech warned that the chemicals in the mosquito nets could pause a health risk for the consumers of the white ants. The misuse of mosquito bed nets is common across Uganda. In the eastern Uganda district of Tororo the nets have been used to make wedding gowns. Elsewhere in the country free bed nets are resold at exorbitant prices. A total of 2,000 mosquito nets were distributed to children below five years, expectant mothers and HIV positive persons in Padibe West. Susan Akol, HIV project officer of the Red Cross in Kitgum, says another 2,000 nets were distributed in Acholi-bur IDP camp on Saturday.