It might sound like a joke, but in the budget reportedly drafted by the Ugandan government to deal with the locusts invasion, 2,250,000,000 Ugandan shillings has been set for hiring stone-throwers; their major task? Stoning locusts.
The Ugandan Cabinet on Monday, 1oth February 2020 approved an extra Ush 7 billion ($1.8 million) to help in the fight against the locust invasion.
Desert locusts crossed from neighboring Kenya into Uganda through Amudat in the northeastern part of the country, a government official has said.
Locusts have invaded Kenya leaving farmers worried and crushed after destroying almost 80 percent of their produce in the farms.
The locust invasion in Kenya created awareness for all neighboring countries especially Uganda and Tanzania to be at standby and prepare all possible solutions to either prevent or fight the locusts in case they invade.
As suspected, Swarms of desert locusts on Sunday, 10th February 2020, entered Uganda through Amudat District, Karamoja region, creating panic among the farmers, pastoralists, and leaders in the region.
In response, government officials held a crisis meeting to prepare on how to prevent the locusts that have ravaged several parts of Kenya and Karamoja in Uganda, from spreading to other parts of the country.
A budget under the name “Desert Locust Response Budget” of over 20,160,000,000 UgShs has been drafted by the Ugandan government in response to the desert locust invasion in Karamoja.
So this is reportedly the budget set aside by the Ugandan Govt to deal with the locust invasion… 2.250.000.000 Ugandan shillings for hiring stone throwers pic.twitter.com/xeww1UvBiW
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) February 13, 2020
The budget includes a number of items with stone-throwers almost dominating in the 5th position as one of the items with the highest amount as shown above.
This budget has left many in wonders because, yes stone-throwers may be required to scare off the locusts, but how can the government make it a sustainable solution in the budget yet there are better and preventive measures to be required.
Samira Sawlaniis, one of the shocked individuals, took to Twitter and questioned how the Ugandan government could draft such a budget surely.
Additionally, people are questioning the Ugandan government what the stones are for, is it for killing one locust at a time or is it what we call misuse of government funds and taxpayers’ money?
Several Ugandans have decided to advise the government about misusing their taxes by developing better solutions in line with the ignorance and lack of reasoning by their government.
Perhaps the government should just announce that a kilogram of locusts is 50,000 Ugandan shillings instead of wasting money on a meaningless budget and see if Ugandans will not hunt these deadly locusts even from Kenya.
Ugandans are very disappointed in the government for wasting such a large sum of money on stone-throwers who they are so sure will not even be hired. It is clear and right to assert that this office of the prime minister of Uganda is to embezzle these funds.
By Nsunjo Erica