ACAPS Briefing note: Ethiopia - Desert Locusts (15 November 2019)

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Crisis Impact Overview

▪ Since June, above average rainfall in many parts of Ethiopia has encouraged vegetation growth, providing favourable ecological conditions for desert locust breeding (1).

▪ Across 56 woredas (districts), the swarms have developed into hopper bands that are consuming between 8,700 (2) to 1,755,000 (3) metric tons of green vegetation – pastures, cropland, trees – per day.

▪ Current response efforts are focused on swarm control and preventative methods, such as aerial sprays. Despite international and national interventions, as of 5 November the infestation is not under control (2).

▪ The presence of locusts in the crop-producing regions of Somali, Amhara, Tigray, Oromia are expected to severely hamper food security and livestock productivity (4).

▪ In Tigray region, desert locusts have been reported in the south, southeast, east, and west zones (2).

▪ The scale and degree of needs is unclear. However, due to the anticipated impact of swarms on agricultural production, the highest sectoral needs will likely be food security and livelihoods.

▪ Agropastoral and pastoral communities are expected to be hardest hit, due to their pre-existing food insecurity and nutritional gaps (2).