Ethiopia + 10 more

Desert Locust situation update - 4 January 2021

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© FAO

Invasion of southern Ethiopia and Kenya to continue

Numerous immature swarms formed in eastern Ethiopia and central Somalia during December, which moved to southern Ethiopia, reaching northern Kenya on 21 December. More swarms will arrive during January and spread throughout southern Ethiopia and northern, central, and eastern counties of Kenya where they will mature and lay eggs that will hatch and give rise to hopper bands from late January onwards.

In northern Somalia, swarms laid eggs in areas affected by Cyclone Gati where hatching is underway and causing numerous early instar hopper bands to form. Hatching will continue until about mid-January. New immature swarms could start to form in early February.

In Saudi Arabia, swarms that appeared during December on the Red Sea coast, perhaps from Yemen, laid eggs that are hatching and causing numerous hopper bands to form. Some swarms also reached interior areas where they will slowly mature and breed once temperatures warm up.

Adult groups and a few swarms appeared on the coast of Sudan and Eritrea in December. Breeding is continuing, albeit on a smaller scale than Saudi Arabia, which will cause further hatching that will cause hopper groups and bands to form.

In Yemen, control has not been required so far because locusts are solitarious and scattered along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coasts. However, breeding will cause locusts to increase, leading to a new generation of hopper groups and bands that will require control from about late January onwards.

In the Western Region, locusts that concentrated and formed small groups were treated in Mauritania, Niger, and Algeria during December.

In southwest Asia, adult groups in southwest Iran will eventually breed once temperatures warm up.

During December, aerial and ground control operations treated more than 336 000 ha. Nevertheless, intensive monitoring and control efforts will need to be maintained and extended to all breeding areas.