Widespread rains to cause a further deterioration in the situation
Widespread rains that fell in late March could allow a dramatic increase in locust numbers in East Africa, eastern Yemen and southern Iran during the coming months.
The current situation in East Africa remains extremely alarming as hopper bands and an increasing number of new swarms are forming in Kenya, southern Ethiopia and Somalia. This represents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods because it coincides with the beginning of the long rains and the planting season. Although ground and aerial control operations are in progress, widespread rains that fell in late March will allow the new swarms to mostly remain, mature and lay eggs while a few swarms could move from Kenya to Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. During May, the eggs will hatch into hopper bands that will form new swarms in late June and July, which coincides with the start of the harvest.
Several swarms appeared in the past few days in Amudat district of northeast Uganda.
The situation in Iran and Yemen is becoming increasingly worrisome. Swarms laid eggs along 900 km of coast in southwest Iran that are hatching and hopper bands are forming. The widespread heavy rains that fell in late March will allow another generation of breeding and a further increase in locusts during May, which will extend to Baluchistan, Pakistan.
Several swarms were reported in the past few days, including today, along both sides of the Oman/Yemen border in the interior and on the coast. The March rains will allow swarm breeding in eastern Yemen that will cause hopper bands to form and a further increase in locust numbers.