Swarms continue to mature in East Africa
Spring breeding will cause a further increase in locust infestations in East Africa, eastern Yemen and southern Iran in the coming months.
The current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as more swarms form and mature in northern and central Kenya, southern Ethiopia and probably in Somalia. This represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods because it coincides with the beginning of the long rains and the planting season. Although ground and aerial control operations are in progress, widespread rains that fell in late March will allow the new swarms to mostly stay in place, mature and lay eggs while a few swarms could move from Kenya to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. During May, the eggs will hatch into hopper bands that will form new swarms in late June and July, which coincides with the start of the harvest.
- KENYA. More swarms mature in central and northern areas with egg-laying imminent. Control continues.
- ETHIOPIA. Swarms mature in the south (SNNPR, Oromia) and disperse northwards in Oromia and Somali region; hopper bands in the east near Dire Dawa. Control continues.
- UGANDA. A maturing swarm was reported on 17 April in Katakwi district of the northeast.
Breeding continues in several countries, causing hopper bands to form that could lead to swarms.
- YEMEN. Heavy rains and floods fell in the interior (Marib, Bayhan) this past week, including Aden today; swarm in Wadi Hadhramaut.
- SAUDI ARABIA. Control continues against mid-instar hopper bands near the Persian Gulf and new hopper bands in the interior (Hail and Al-Badie Al-Shamali).
- IRAQ. Limited control in progress against early instar hopper groups in the southern provinces of Al Muthanna, Al Diwaniya, Al Najaf.
- OMAN. Late instar hopper groups, bands and a few small swarms seen laying eggs near UAE. Swarm on the Yemen border today. Control continues.
- UAE. Limited control against hopper bands and adult groups near Al Ayn and Oman.
Breeding continues in the spring breeding areas where the situation is worrisome in Iran.
- IRAN. More hopper bands form along the southwest coast; swarm laying near Jask and adult groups lay in Sistan & Baluchistan. Control continues.
- PAKISTAN. Hopper and adult groups in Baluchistan; hopper groups and bands in the Indus Valley and Punjab; limited breeding near the Indian border. Control continues.