Desert Locust Projection 16-31 July

Crop destruction continue to been reported in Ethiopia and Somalia. Most affected crops have been sorghum and maize crops at vegetative and ripening stages.

15 Jul, 2020 Alerts and Early Warning 15

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Projected impact on food and fodder production 

  • Crop destruction continue to been reported in Ethiopia and Somalia. Most affected crops have been sorghum and maize crops at vegetative and ripening stages.
  • The risk of significant impact to both crops and rangelands is very high due to the increased likelihood of swarms migrating.
  • Most agro-pastoral areas in late vegetative and reproductive stages of crop development are at a high risk of potential damage to seasonal crops and regenerating pastures. Agro-pastoral areas of Turkana in Kenya already have reported an impact on crops since hopper bands were not effectively controlled and have developed to adult and swarms.

Desert Locust Spread and Prediction

  • In the current desert locust invasion areas of the Eastern Africa region, locust swarms have been reported in the last 14 days in northern Kenya, eastern and north-eastern Ethiopia. Adult locusts are also in large numbers in the areas where hoppers and bands were spotted in June which is in the trajectories of migrating swarms.
  • This means a continued increase in locust numbers even with the control efforts. Parts of Sudan have had adult locust reported in more locations.

Climatic conditions suitable for desert locust development are forecast to be highly suitable in Uganda, southern to east of Sudan, eastern Ethiopia, northern Somalia and northern Kenya.  

Ecological conditions (particularly the availability of green vegetation) are most suitable in parts of north-western Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia and northern Somalia due favourable rainfall received in the season which enhanced vegetation regrowth.  

Wind direction and speeds, which greatly determine swarm movement, is forecast to be southerly and south-westerly in most parts of the region. Sudan has varying winds movement in the northern part which is likely to affect adult locust movement as they transition to breeding areas. There is low risk for invasion for the southern and equatorial parts of the sub-region and increased risk in northern countries of the region following the wind movement.  

Desert locust hopper bands, adult locust and swarms continue to be reported in Turkana and Marsabit and Ethiopia in the Dire Dawa, Hareri, Misraq Harrge, Nogob, east Bale, Adfderm Shabelle and Debub Wollo. In Somalia adult locust have been reported in Galguuduud, Awdal, Mudug, Nugaal and Sool, while both adult locust and swarms have been reported in Sanaag, Togdheer, Woqooyi Galbeed.  

Desert locusts are projected to move from:

  • Turkana areas of Kenya to West Pokot, Eastern Uganda areas of Moroto and Kotido;
  • Turkana areas of Kenya through South Sudan to Sudan;
  • Ethiopia Somali regions to north-eastern Somalia; and
  • North-eastern Ethiopia to southern areas of Djibouti, northern Somalia and across the Red Sea.

Intermittent multi-directional winds might favour swarms to move in opposing directions during the projection period.

Note: Locust locations obtained from FAO Locust 
Hub: https://locust-hub-hqfao.hub.arcgis.com/. Data downloaded 15 July 2020.

Highest risk areas for desert locust swarms and adult locust invasion based on forecasted suitable climate and existing vegetation conditions are outlined below:

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Note: Risk areas consider a combination of wind movement, ecological conditions and forecasted weather indicators. 

Tags: Desert Locust , Projection