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Desert Locust situation update - 17 February 2020

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Widespread breeding in progress in the Horn of Africa

The situation remains extremely alarming in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread Desert Locust infestations and a new generation of breeding threatens food security and livelihoods in the region. The situation is less worrisome in Uganda and Tanzania.

Kenya. Swarms continue to mature and lay eggs in northern and central counties where hatching and band formation are increasing. At least one swarm arrived in a tea plantation in the southwest county of Kericho while other swarms have been seen further north in Turkana county. There have been no new reports of swarms near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Aerial and ground control operations continue in most areas.

Uganda. Several mature swarms moved northwards within 12 northeastern districts from 9–13 February. Although a few swarms were desperately laying eggs on the surface of the ground, there is a possibility of successful laying in a few limited areas. Control operations were undertaken by the military in one area.

Tanzania. There have been no new reports of swarms after those that entered from the north on 9 February and moved towards Arusha and Moshi.

South Sudan. On 17 February, a mature swarm entered Magwi county in the southeast from Lamwo district in northern Uganda and was moving towards Torit west.

Ethiopia. Ground and aerial control operations continue against mature swarms in the Somali, Oromiya and SNNPR regions, including the Rift Valley. Cross-border swarm movements with Kenya continue to be reported. Breeding is underway but more details are awaited concerning its scale and geographical spread.

Somalia. Breeding is in progress in central areas near the Ethiopian border between Beled Weyn and Gaalkacyo where groups of hoppers and adults are present. Breeding is also underway in the northeast where late instar hopper bands were seen earlier in the month near Garowe.

Red Sea area. Breeding is in progress along both sides of the Red Sea in Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Eritrea where hopper groups, bands immature adults groups have formed that is likely to cause swarms to form shortly. Several immature swarms have moved from the coastal plains to the interior in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Control operations are in progress in all countries but remains limited in Yemen.

Southwest Asia. Breeding continues on the southeast coast in Iran. The situation is calm along the India border in Pakistan while a few small swarms appeared in cropping areas in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan. In India, control operations are underway against a few residual summer-bred swarms that persist in parts of Rajasthan.