Dur­ing the par­lia­ment sit­ting on of 12th Jan­u­ary 2020, MPs raised con­cerns about how the gov­ern­ment is re­spond­ing to lo­cust in­va­sion.  Hon. Atiku Be­nard in­formed the House that he had read in the News Pa­pers that the chem­i­cals which were pro­cured to fight the lo­custs were not ef­fec­tive. He said this could be a wastage of the money which has been ad­vanced.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, a bud­get of Shs15 bil­lion had been set aside as con­tin­gency to fight the spread of lo­custs in Uganda. An ad­di­tional bud­get of 7 bil­lion has also been put in place for hir­ing, main­te­nance and re­mu­ner­a­tion of the air­crafts and per­son­nel which is an ex­pen­sive ac­tiv­ity as an air­craft is hired at 120,000 dol­lars per month. Pi­lots and en­gi­neers are also paid highly like those in com­mer­cial flights as it is a com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try

While sug­gest­ing pos­si­ble mea­sures to fight the lo­custs in Uganda, Hon. Okupa Eli­jah said that the is­sue should be a sim­ple one and does not need spray­ing. ‘We should have told the peo­ple that a kilo­gram of lo­custs is 5000 shillings, they would be no more by now.’ He as­serted.

Hon. Akello Lucy re­minded the mem­bers that from a Bib­li­cal per­spec­tive, when the lo­custs at­tacked Egypt, it was be­cause the King had hard­ened his heart and it was a form of pun­ish­ment. He opined that it is time for the lead­ers in the coun­try to re­flect and ex­am­ine them­selves. Hon. Medard Ssegg­ona sug­gested that is time to utilise the avail­able re­sources such as tear­gas to fight the lo­custs. ‘If we tear­gas them, can they re­ally sur­vive?’ he asked.

The Speaker of Par­lia­ment Rt. Hon. Re­becca Kadaga, asked Gov­ern­ment to give an ex­pla­na­tion on the is­sue of lo­custs in the coun­try ob­serv­ing that there was no clear in­for­ma­tion and the Mem­bers were de­bat­ing bas­ing on the spec­u­la­tions.

Hon. Rwami­rama Bright, Min­is­ter of State for De­fence and Vet­eran Af­fairs, while ex­plain­ing to the mem­bers noted that the lo­cust in­va­sion should not be taken as an is­sue for only Uganda but rather as a re­gional is­sue and an in­ter­na­tional is­sue. He in­formed Par­lia­ment the sol­diers from Uganda Peo­ple’s De­fense Forces are in Karamoja re­gion sup­port­ing the team spray­ing the lo­custs. He as­sured the Mem­bers that the in­va­sion will be con­tained since the Gov­ern­ment is mak­ing arrange­ments to con­duct an Ariel spray. He added that the chem­i­cals be­ing used to kill the lo­custs are the rec­om­mend ones and have been used else­where and there­fore, they will not be harm­ful to the peo­ple.