Swarms continue to invade Kenya
In the Horn of Africa, aerial and ground control operations continue against highly mobile swarms in Ethiopia and -Kenya, and hopper bands and mature swarms in northern Somalia.
In Ethiopia, immature swarms that were previously concentrated along the eastern side of the Harar Highlands in Oromia region have now spread throughout the region to the east of the Rift Valley. Immature swarms are also moving northwards along the Rift Valley in SNNP region. Other swarms remain concentrated between Harar, Jijiga, and Dire Dawa where at least one swarm was reported copulating. Additional swarms are likely to appear in the Rift Valley south of Adama. The swarms will mature and lay eggs once rains fall.
In Somalia, breeding continues in the northwest and northeast where mature swarms and hopper bands are present in areas that received good rains from cyclone Gati in late November. Immature swarms continue to move south of the Shebelle River towards Kenya.
In Kenya, several immature swarms are arriving every day and spreading west throughout northern and central areas. Swarms have now been seen in seven counties (Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo, Meru North) compared to four last week. A few swarms are starting to mature. In the southeast, hopper bands are present near Taita Taveta and on the coast that could form swarms shortly.
As conditions remain dry in some areas, the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern Ethiopia and north-central Kenya. Any rainfall that occurs in the coming weeks while cause swarms to mature and lay eggs that will hatch and give rise to hopper bands during February and March.
Winter breeding continues along both sides of the Red Sea. In Yemen, maturing swarms appeared in the highlands west of Sana’a most likely coming from inaccessible areas on the coast and elsewhere. Scattered adults are present along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coastal plains but do not require control. In Saudi Arabia, control operations are in progress against mainly second instar hopper groups and a few bands along the coast from Jizan to Lith, extending nearly to Duba on the north coast. In Sudan, control teams are treating hopper bands along the Atbara River, on the coast near Eritrea and, mixed with groups of adults, along Wadi Oko/Diib in the northeast near Egypt. In Eritrea, hopper groups and bands are being treated on the northern coast.
All countries should maintain maximum efforts in conducting the necessary survey and control operations to reduce further migration and breeding.