Somalia + 10 more

Desert Locust situation update 25 August 2021



OVERVIEW. A few small immature swarms remain on the plateau in northwest Somalia while several more immature swarms were seen recently in the northeast as a result of arrivals from northwest Somalia and undetected local breeding. Aerial control operations are underway in both areas. Hatching and the formation of small hopper bands are almost certainly underway in northeast Ethiopia, but this could not be confirmed as the area cannot be accessed due to security concerns. In Yemen, a few hopper bands have formed on the southern coast and small-scale breeding is underway in the interior. Elsewhere, the situation remains calm, and no significant developments are likely.

WHY IT MATTERS. It was anticipated that there was a good possibility to bring the current upsurge to an end with an effective control campaign this summer in northeast Ethiopia. However, ground and aerial teams are unable to access the breeding locations in the Afar region to conduct survey and control operations due to insecurity. Consequently, locusts will continue to increase unabated in that region and new immature swarms are likely to start forming in the last days of September and continue into October. As vegetation dries out in Afar, some of the swarms are likely to migrate north towards the winter breeding areas along the coast in Eritrea while others will move east to the eastern Somali region in Ethiopia and adjacent areas of northern Somalia. The extent of subsequent breeding in both areas is difficult to predict because it depends on the scale of summer breeding in northeast Ethiopia, which is not likely to be well known, and rains that fall during the last quarter of this year. Contingency preparations will need to be taken to address these uncertainties.

CONTEXT. Continued insecurity could prolong the current upsurge in the Horn of Africa.
SOMALIA. Limited aerial control operations continue against a few remnant immature swarms on the plateau and coast in the northwest (Somaliland); a few more swarms were sighted in the northeast (Puntland) likely from earlier undetected local breeding and arriving from the northwest.
ETHIOPIA. Hatching and hopper band formation likely to be underway in Afar but cannot be confirmed or addressed due to insecurity and no access; no locusts in Somali region.
YEMEN. Limited hopper bands on southern coast; small-scale breeding in the interior.
SUDAN. Scattered adults in the interior where small-scale breeding likely to be underway.
SAUDI ARABIA. No locusts in the southwest; no invasions are expected.
• W AFRICA. Scattered adults in Chad and small-scale breeding likely to be in progress.
SW ASIA. No locusts seen during recent surveys in Iran, Pakistan, and India.

TAKEAWAY. Current field operations in northern Somalia should be maintained while upscaling of surveys is needed in northeast Ethiopia and Djibouti.
• Central Region (SERIOUS) – increase operations in Djibouti and, if possible, northeast Ethiopia
• Eastern Region (CALM) – continue summer surveys (Indo-Pakistan)
• Western Region (CALM) – continue summer surveys (northern Sahel)