On January the 11th, 2019, the holiest site in Islam was swarmed by a plague of locusts, forcing cleaners into action to drive the insects out. The Great Mosque in Mecca, which hosts millions of Muslim pilgrims every year and is the holiest site in Islam was the birthplace of a plague which in just over 12 months would grow into billions, stretching from the western border of China sweeping through Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, through Arabia the Middle East, northern Africa and all the way down to Southern Africa. TBW
Desert Locust situation update
New swarms forming 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 starting to form, representing an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods at the beginning of the upcoming cropping season.
Widespread swarm breeding continues in northern and central counties where an increasing number of hopper bands and first-generation immature swarms are forming. This may be supplemented by new-generation immature swarms arriving from Somalia. Further concentration is expected in Marsabit and Turkana. Aerial and ground control operations continue.
Breeding continues within a widespread area of Oromiya and SNNPR regions, including the Rift Valley, where early instar hopper bands are forming in some places. Immature swarms are present in the south where cross-border movements are likely from adjacent areas of Somalia and Kenya. Aerial and ground control operations continue.
Late instar hopper bands, maturing adult groups and at least one mature swarm on the northwest coast where egg-laying continues. Ground control operations underway with biopesticides.
Late instar hopper band, fledgelings and immature adult group and swarm on the southern coast of the Red Sea near the Eritrea border. Scattered adults in Tokar Delta, the northeast and in the Nile Valley.
Immature adult groups on the northern coast of the Red Sea near the Sudan border. Hopper groups on the Buri Peninsula.
Mature swarm and laying adult groups near the Persian Gulf between Dammam and Qaryat Al Ulya. Scattered adults on the central Red Sea coast.
Immature swarms in the north and near Kuwait City.
Immature swarm on the western coast near Qatar.
Swarms laying eggs in the southwest (southern Khuzestan, Busherh, southern Fars, western Hormozgan provinces) that will start to hatch later this week and form hopper bands. Local breeding continues in the southeast where hoppers are forming groups and bands in eastern Hormozgan. Control operations are in progress.
Mature adult groups laying eggs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Dera Ismail Khan, Lucky Marwat) and Baluchistan (Dalbandin, Kharan, Khuzdar, Washtuk, Turbat) that will hatch during the second half of March and form hopper groups and small bands. New generation immature groups and small swarms are likely to start forming in Baluchistan by the end of March. FAO
Hundreds of billions of locusts swarm in East Africa in pictures. BBC
2020 Locust Plague
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