Ethiopia + 14 more

Desert Locust situation update - 3 February 2020

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© FAO

Three hot-spots of threatening locust activity

The current situation remains extremely alarming in three main areas.

(1) In the Horn of Africa, the worst affected area, there is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods as swarms increase in Ethiopia and Somalia and continue to move south to Kenya where they have spread to 14 northern, central and southwest counties, reaching within 200 km of northeast Uganda and southeast South Sudan. Some swarms have already laid eggs and hatching is almost certainly underway. Swarms have also entered the Rift Valley in Ethiopia. Aerial and ground operations are in progress but remain insufficient. Breeding during February will cause a further increase with numerous hopper bands in all three countries. Some swarms may still reach Uganda and South Sudan in the coming days.

(2) Locust infestations continue to grow along both sides of the Red Sea where numerous hopper groups, bands and adult groups are forming. A swarm formed on the coast near the Sudan/Egypt border, swarms have laid near the Sudan/Eritrea border, and formed on the coast of Yemen, some of which have moved into the central highlands and to adjacent areas in southwest Saudi Arabia. At least one swarm appeared on the southern coast of Eritrea. Several swarms, presumably from the Indo-Pakistan border area, recently arrived on the eastern coast of Oman and moved south to Yemen.

(3) In southwest Asia, heavy rains on the southern coast of Iran where swarms were laying eggs, which should allow favourable conditions for two generations of breeding that could cause a considerable increase in locust numbers. Residual adult groups and swarms are still present along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border while some swarms have moved into adjacent areas to the north.