Ethiopia | Desert locust situation report (October 2021)

Ethiopia | Desert locust situation report (October 2021)
Oct 2021

Key messages:

  • Following the improvement of the security situation in the Afar region, ground survey was carried out on 29.9 km2 and desert locust (DL) presence on 24.5 km2 ha was confirmed in four dirstrics
  • The intercepted DL populations have reached immature adult stage. In few places DL are still at 4th instar hoppers (3.25 km2) and were treated. Immature adults could not be controlled and are moving around in Afar and bordering areas of the Amhara region
  • The scale of the breeding is not well known as most places cannot be accessed by ground teams and there is an imposed “No Fly Zone” for survey and control aircraft. It likely to extend to several Woredas of Afar, as well as adjacent areas of southeast Tigray and eastern Amhara regions
  • Since the beginning of July 2021, extensive aerial survey has been carried out in Somali region, covering over 22 000 km2. DL presence was confirmed only on 301.23 km2
  • FAO is facilitating coordination of cross-border operations between Kenya, Somalia (Somaliland and Puntland) and Ethiopia. Swarms are ‘handed over’ at the border by the relevant operations teams, allowing for a more coordinated and timelier response
  • More immature swarms will form during the coming weeks in the inaccessible breeding areas of Afar region (mainly). As vegetation dries out in these areas, swarms are expected to move northwards through the highlands of Tigray to Eritrea and through Djibouti and north Somalia to reach the Somali region in eastern Ethiopia
  • While below-average rains are forecasted for October and November, precipitations should be sufficient to allow swarms to mature and lay eggs in Somali region, which will hatch and give rise to hopper bands until the end of the year
  • In addition, any swarms that cannot be treated in the interior of Yemen are likely to move during October to the Red Sea coast of Yemen and perhaps across the Gulf of Aden to eastern Ethiopia
  • Current field operations in eastern Ethiopia should be maintained while upscaling of surveys is needed in northern Ethiopia to locate developing imature swarms


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