Desert Locust situation update
Swarms invade the Persian Gulf and continue to breed in the Horn of Africa.
The situation remains extremely alarming in the Horn of Africa, specifically Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread breeding is in progress and new swarms are expected to form in the coming weeks.
In the past few days, there has been a significant movement of swarms over the Arabian Peninsula, unrelated to the Horn of Africa, that reached both sides of the Persian Gulf.
In Kenya, swarms continue to be reported in northern and central areas where they are mostly mature and have laid eggs. Hatching is causing an increasing number of hopper bands to form with new swarm formation expected in the coming weeks. Mature swarms are also present along the shores of Lake Turkana.
Aerial and ground control operations continue. In Ethiopia, the situation is similar to Kenya with widespread swarms, breeding and hatching in Somali, Oromiya and SNNPR regions, including the Rift Valley. Movements further north can be expected as well as from adjacent areas of Somalia and Kenya.
In Somalia, breeding continues in the northeast where new immature swarms are expected to form in about one week or so.
In Uganda, a mature swarm arrived in the northeast from adjacent areas of western Kenya on 24 February.
In South Sudan, only remnants of an earlier mature swarm have been seen in the southeastern county of Magwi. A second mature swarm was seen near the border on 23 February.
In Tanzania, no new reports of swarms. DRC (the Democratic Republic of the Congo). A small group of mature Desert Locust arrived on the western shore of Lake Albert near Bunia on 21 February after crossing northern Uganda on strong northeasterly winds. The country last received Desert Locust in 1944.
In Saudi Arabia, ground control operations increased against hopper bands on the Red Sea coast and immature groups and swarms in the interior.
Yemen. Another generation of breeding is in progress on the Red Sea coast where hatching and early instar hopper bands are forming. Immature and mature swarms were reported in the interior during this past week. Surveys remain limited and control could not be carried out.
Persian Gulf. During several days of strong winds, dense immature swarms arrived in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and along the southwest coast of Iran between Bushehr and Kish Island on 20-21 February. More swarms are likely during periods of southerly winds. Control operations were immediately mounted in Iran. Locust Watch
Control operations against locusts are underway in 13 countries, from India in the east, all the way across to Mauritania in West Africa. The main threats are in East Africa and Yemen, as well the Gulf states, Iran, Pakistan and India. Most recently, locusts have been seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and swarms have arrived in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, and along the coast of Iran. The FAO has told us that in three of the worst affected countries, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, they estimate that at least 100,000 hectares in each country need to be sprayed with insecticide. By the end of January, they were substantially short of this target in the worst affected countries in East Africa. Ethiopia 22,550 hectares Kenya 20,000 hectares (estimated) Somalia 15,000 hectares (estimated) BBC
2020 Locust Plague
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