LOCUST INFESTATION BACKGROUND
Hopper band and locust swarms have been across the borders of Horn of Africa. Kenya has been experiencing the heaviest Desert Locust crisis in over 70 years. Since the beginning of July 2019, swarms of Desert Locust originating from Yemen have been infesting farmland and rangeland in northern Somalia and are spreading into central and south parts of Somalia; Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Eritrea. FAO’s Locust Watch Group has set the warning level of desert locust infestation to level threat . As of February 2020, In Kenya, numerous immature and mature swarms continue to move throughout northern and central areas. Mature swarms reached within 50 km of the Uganda border and other mature swarms nearly reached the Tanzania border. Widespread egg laying and hatching have started, and so far numerous dense early instar hopper bands are present in some central areas. Aerial and ground control operations are continuing. Considering that 1km² swarm can consume the equivalent of food for 35,000 people in one day; the infestation represents a substantial risk to food security and livelihoods of the communities who are mainly smallholder farmers and pastoralists. The expected above normal seasonal showers are likely to provide favorable conditions for locust prevention and control.