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DL Situation
Desert Locust Bulletin, No 495, December 2019

Dangerous situation in Horn of Africa and threatening along both sides of the Red Sea

The Desert Locust situation remains extremely serious in the Horn of Africa where it threatens pastures and crops in EthiopiaSomalia and Kenya. Numerous swarms have formed in eastern Ethiopia and adjacent areas of northern Somalia. A number of large immature swarms moved south in the Ogaden of eastern Ethiopia and adjacent areas of central Somalia and reached southern Somalia, southeast Ethiopia and, on 28 December, northeast Kenya. There is a risk that some swarms could appear in northeast Uganda, southeast South Sudan and southwest Ethiopia. Ground and aerial control operations continue in Ethiopia and aerial operations started in Kenya on 6 January. Insecurity and a lack of national capacity have so far not allowed control operations in Somalia. During January, swarms will mature and lay eggs in the Ogaden and north central Somalia that will hatch and cause numerous hopper bands to form. There is a low risk of breeding in Kenya.

A potentially threatening situation is developing along both sides of the Red Sea where ongoing breeding is causing locust numbers to increase on the coasts of EgyptSudanEritreaSaudi Arabia and Yemen. Widespread laying and hatching occurred in Saudi Arabia and gave rise to numerous hopper groups and bands, and a few immature swarms moved into the interior in late December. Hopper bands and swarms are also forming on the Red Sea coast in Yemen. More swarms are likely to form in both countries later this month. In Sudan, hopper bands are forming on the northern coast near Egypt and new swarms could form later in January. Breeding in adjacent areas of southeast Egypt is likely to cause groups to form. A second generation of breeding is in progress and will continue on the central and northern coast of Eritrea where hoppers are forming groups, which could lead to hopper bands. Control operations are in progress in all affected countries.

In northeast Oman, ground control operations are in progress against hopper bands that formed near the coast.

In South-West Asia, intensive control operations continue along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border where numerous swarms formed. As summer breeding has ended and conditions are drying out, any remaining swarms that are not detected or treated will move west to southern Iran in the coming days and weeks. If temperatures remain warm in southern Iran, egg-laying could occur in areas that received unusually heavy rains last month that will cause hopper bands to form.

The situation remains calm in West and Northwest Africa.

For more information, please download the Desert Locust Bulletin, from the link below:

DLIS - 06, Jan 2020
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