• The Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) recently conducted a regional Desert Locust impact assessment in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda using a harmonized approach. The assessment interviewed 10,831 agricultural respondents across Desert Locust-affected areas of the region in June/July 2020.
• The assessment found that amongst respondents who either 1) currently had crops in their fields or 2) owned livestock, roughly a third experienced desert-locust related pasture or crop losses.
• For impacted households, Desert Locust losses were often quite large. More specifically, roughly half of impacted cropping and livestock-rearing respondents experienced high or very high losses to their crops and rangeland, respectively.
• Beyond direct crop and rangeland impacts, Desert Locust affected respondents also commonly expressed concerns that Desert Locusts were causing emotional stress, environmental impacts, increased food insecurity or malnutrition, and animal health issues.
• Due to multiple, compounding hazards (e.g. Desert Locusts, COVID-19, climatic shocks), there was general pessimism amongst respondents (both those affected by Desert Locusts and those who were not) about harvest prospects and current rangeland conditions.
Given already high levels of food insecurity across the region, these challenges threaten to drive further food security deteriorations in the coming months.