HEWS, Humanitarian Early Warning Service

A Service of the Inter-Agency Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience

This update was published the 02 October 2014

Locust information have been extracted from FAO Locust Watch

Potential risk that situation may deteriorate in the northern Sahel

Related countries: Chad Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia Mali Mauritania Niger Saudi Arabia Somalia Sudan Yemen

So far only low numbers of hoppers and adults have been seen during regular surveys carried out in the summer breeding areas of the northern Sahel between Mauritania and Eritrea. However, ecological conditions remain very favourable for breeding and there may be more locusts present than seen by the survey teams. This should become evident once vegetation dries out and adults concentrate to form groups. Consequently, there is a risk for groups to form in western Mauritania, northern Mali and Niger, northeast Chad, central and eastern Sudan, and in western Eritrea. This could cause the situation to deteriorate further. The first signs of this have appeared in eastern Sudan where an increasing number of adult groups and at least one swarm formed at the end of September. Aerial and ground control operations are currently in progress. Therefore, strict vigilance is required in all countries during October. In the winter breeding areas, good rains fell along the eastern side of the Red Sea where small-scale breeding will cause locust numbers to increase in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The situation continues to remain unclear in Yemen due to insecurity. Adult groups and swarms that form in Sudan are likely to move to the Red Sea coast in Sudan and southeast Egypt. Elsewhere, ground control operations are in progress against hopper groups in northeast Ethiopia where a few small swarms are expected to form that could move towards the eastern part of the country and adjacent areas of northern Somalia.

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