Ethiopia + 11 more

Desert Locust situation update - 2 September 2020

Summer breeding in Ethiopia and Indo-Pakistan

Ground and aerial control operations continue against spring-bred swarms that persist in the Horn of Africa. Summer breeding is underway in northern Ethiopia where an increasing number of hopper bands are forming in Afar and eastern Amhara and Tigray. Any swarms that are not detected or controlled in northwest Kenya are expected to remain and mature during September and lay eggs with the onset of the Short Rains.

Other swarms remain immature in eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia that could spread south, if they do not mature, towards Kenya when the prevailing winds change in October. This could be supplemented by a few swarms from Yemen where control operations have been undertaken recently in the interior against numerous hopper bands and swarms.

Several mature swarms invaded Eritrea and spread throughout the highlands and the Red Sea coast where good rains fell in August. Swarms from Yemen invaded southwest Saudi Arabia, some of which reached the Red Sea coast near Jizan. On 31 August, a swarm moved from northwest Kenya to adjacent areas of Budi district in Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan. In southern Oman, adult groups and a swarm formed from local breeding on the coast.

Locust infestations are expected to increase substantially in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, and, to a lesser extent, on the Red Sea coast in Sudan and Saudi Arabia where numerous hopper bands could form during September.

In southwest Asia, extensive hatching and hopper band formation occurred in India and, on a smaller scale, in southeast Pakistan. Intensive control operations have significantly reduced infestations in both countries. Consequently, the second generation of breeding that commences in September is expected to be on a much smaller and more manageable scale.

The situation remains calm in the northern Sahel from Mauritania to western Eritrea where good rains fell much further north than usual last month but only small-scale breeding is expected because current locust numbers are very low.