Swarm increase expected in East Africa
Widespread rains that fell in late March could allow a dramatic increase in locust numbers in East Africa, eastern Yemen and southern Iran in the coming months.
The current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as hopper bands and an increasing number of new swarms form in northern and central Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia. This represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods because it coincides with the beginning of the long rains and the planting season. Although ground and aerial control operations are in progress, widespread rains that fell in late March will allow the new swarms to mostly remain, mature and lay eggs while a few swarms could move from Kenya to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. During May, the eggs will hatch into hopper bands that will form new swarms in late June and July, which coincides with the start of the harvest.
● KENYA. Swarms appear to be increasing in size in some central and northern areas with some moving westwards.
● ETHIOPIA. A large swarm was reported in the south (SNNPR) today.
● UGANDA. Several immature and maturing swarms appeared in the northeast (Katakwi, Amuria, Agago districts) on 5-7 April. The military carried out control operations. Additional swarms may appear in these areas from Kenya and move towards the northwest.
Spring breeding is underway. The situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate.
● YEMEN. An immature swarm was seen on the coast at the Oman border and another one north of Aden, and adults are laying on the eastern plateau.
● SAUDI ARABIA. More hatching and early instar bands form near the Persian Gulf where control operations continue.
● OMAN. Control underway against hopper and adult groups in the north. A few immature adult groups seen in the south.
Spring breeding is underway. The situation in Iran is becoming increasingly worrisome.
● IRAN. An increasing number of hopper bands are forming along the southern coast from earlier swarm laying.
● PAKISTAN. Control underway against hopper groups in Baluchistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.