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Desert Locust Bulletin 496 (3 February 2020) [EN/AR]

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Three hot-spots of threatening locust activity

The current situation remains extremely alarming in three main areas: (1) In the Horn of Africa, the worst affected area, there is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods as swarms increased in Ethiopia and Somalia and continued to move south to Kenya where they spread to 14 northern, central and southwest counties, reaching within 200 km of northeast Uganda and southeast South Sudan. Some swarms have already laid eggs and hatching is almost certainly underway. Swarms also entered the Rift Valley in Ethiopia. Aerial and ground operations were in progress but remained insuffi cient. Breeding during February will cause a further increase with numerous hopper bands in all three countries. Some swarms may still reach Uganda and South Sudan. (2) Locust infestations continued to grow along both sides of the Red Sea where numerous hopper groups, bands and adult groups formed.

A swarm formed on the coast near the Sudan/Egypt border, swarms laid near the Sudan/Eritrea border, and formed on the coast of Yemen, some of which moved into the central highlands and to adjacent areas in southwest Saudi Arabia.

At least one swarm appeared on the southern coast of Eritrea. Several swarms, presumably from the Indo-Pakistan border area, arrived on the eastern coast of Oman and moved south to Yemen. (3) In southwest Asia, heavy rains fell on the southern coast of Iran where swarms were laying eggs, which should allow favourable conditions for two generations of breeding that could cause a considerable increase in locust numbers