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Desert Locust situation update - 10 February 2020

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Desert Locust spread to Uganda and Tanzania

Breeding continues in the Horn of Africa, which will cause locusts to increase further in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya with new swarms forming in March and April. Consequently, there is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the region.

In Kenya, numerous immature and mature swarms continue to move throughout northern and central areas. Mature swarms reached within 50 km of the Uganda border on 6 February and other mature swarms nearly reached the Tanzania border on the 7th. Widespread egg laying and hatching have started, and so far numerous dense early instar hopper bands are present in some central areas. Aerial and ground control operations are continuing.

On 9 February, there were reports that Desert Locust arrived in northeast Uganda near Amudat (0157N/3456E). Other reports indicated that Desert Locust had crossed the border into northern Tanzania close to Mt. Kilimanjaro, reaching Arusha and Mushi.

In Somalia, second to fourth instar hopper bands are present in the northeast near Garowe. Other infestations are likely to be present in the northwest, central and southern areas where breeding is expected to be in progress.

In Ethiopia, maturing swarms were present in eastern and southern areas and additional swarms moved into the Rift Valley from the south and the north. Egg-laying and hatching are likely to be underway but so far it has not been detected. Aerial and ground control operations continue in most areas.

Widespread hatching and band formation will occur in the coming weeks in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. There remains a risk of a few small swarms appearing in northeast Uganda, southeast South Sudan and perhaps northern Tanzania in the coming days.

Elsewhere, above-normal breeding continues along both sides of the Red Sea coast where hopper groups, bands, adult groups and a few swarms are forming on the coastal plains. Swarms continue to appear in the highlands and interior of Yemen. Control operations are in progress in Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and, to a limited extent, in Yemen.

In South-West Asia, a few residual summer-bred swarms appeared in northwest Pakistan and there were reports in locusts in the interior of Baluchistan near Kharan. Swarm breeding is on progress along parts of the southern coast of Iran.