Kalangala residents demand land to breed edible beetles

KALANGALA.

Residents of Kalangala District and officials from the Slow Food Intentional , an organisation aocating increased food security, have asked the National Environment Management Authority (Nema ) to allow them utilise buffer zones along Lake Victoria shores to plant trees for breeding edible huhu beetle grub.

‘Beetles endangered‘
While meeting members of the Kankere Community in Mugoye Sub-county on Wednesday , Slow Food International Coordinator for Masaka sub-region, Mr Kayiga Mudde, said the huhu beetles are on the verge of extinction due to severe destruction of forests in the area.

The huhu beetle grub, locally known as amasiinya, is a traditional delicacy in the island district.
They are eaten after being fried like grasshoppers.

“Even those (trees) that were planted in wetlands were cut down, leaving the huhu beetles without breading grounds the community no longer gets enough beetles. We will be happy if Nema allows us to team up with the community to plant trees in the wetland so that we attract these edible insects,” he said.

Mr Mudde, who led a team of food analysts to the district, said there was need to assist indigenous people in Kalangala to restore their cultural food and identity.

Mr Emmanuel Ssekimpi, an elder in Bumangi Mugoye Sub-county, said huhu beetle grubs used to be part of bride price men in the Islands paid to get wives.

Kalangala environment officer Maurice Bafilawala said no one will be allowed to use the available wetlands unless they first seek clearance from Nema .

“If people want wetlands, they should request Nema with a clear plan on how they will use them. Their plan should be in line with Nema policy and should be ready to protect the environment,” he said.