Despite control efforts, cross-border movements of immature swarms along the borders of Kenya and Somalia are ongoing. Swarms that formed in Somalia are now moving into Ethiopia through Aysha.
Hopper bands and a new generation of immature swarms are forming in the Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' (SNNP) regions, including the Rift Valley – the nation’s breadbasket.
Desert locusts are currently active in 161 woredas, down from 172 in February 2020.
Unless properly controlled, the locust invasion will cause large-scale crop, pasture, and forest-cover loss, worsening food and feed insecurity, especially in areas emerging from recurrent El Niño-induced drought.
Around 8.5 million people in Ethiopia are already in severe acute food insecurity and in need of humanitarian assistance (IPC, 2019). Of these, over 6 million live in areas currently experiencing a desert locust upsurge.
A critical season has started for pastoralists and households relying on short rains (February–May) for crop production in the country. Hopper production poses a threat to pasture and crops planted during the belg season in southern Ethiopia and in the Somali region.
The Government of Ethiopia has scaled up desert locust survey and control operations, especially in the Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions – the current hotspots of the invasion.
A ground team of 136 experts and over 1 630 community scouts is supporting operations.