President Museveni has said the country’s entomology experts misled government on the best way to handle the locust invasion which led to losses.
Museveni was addressing the nation on COVID-19 pandemic, another calamity that hit the country at a time when desert locusts were threatening to throw it into a food crisis.
President Museveni said unlike experts from the Ministry of Agriculture who had no clue on how to handle the locust scare, scientists from the Ministry of Health have done a fantastic job in stopping the spread of coronavirus in Uganda.
“The so called experts had a poor understanding of how to fight locusts and ended up committing various mistakes” Museveni said.
He said experts committed a mistake when they advised government not to kill locusts claiming they were harmless, and therefore government should wait until the eggs hatch, which he said was unreasonable.
He also faulted entomology experts for depending on fighting locusts using aircrafts which he said are small in size, and therefore ineffective. He also said aircrafts only fly during the day when the locusts are on the move.
Museveni said teams of scientists from UPDF have since studied the behavior of locusts and came up with effective means of killing the insects.
“We have found that fighting locusts at night when they are on the ground is much more effective than using aerial spray” Museveni said.
He said the teams undertake reconnaissance on movement of locusts during the day, and use torches and chemicals to launch deadly attacks at night when locusts are settled on the ground, which has proved to be more effective.
He applauded health workers at the front-line of the fight against coronavirus, and urged politicians to reconsider higher remuneration for scientists who have proved to deliver practical results.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic was first reported in Uganda on 22nd March, only positive 55 cases have been registered, while 20 have been treated and discharged. No death has been reported yet.