HEWS, Humanitarian Early Warning Service

A Service of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee SWG on Preparedness

This update was published the 13 November 2014

Locust information have been extracted from FAO Locust Watch

Desert Locust threaten Red Sea coast in Sudan and Egypt

Related countries: Egypt Eritrea Sudan

A potentially dangerous situation is developing in northern Sudan where hopper bands and groups of adults started forming in October. The situation is similar to that in 2012 when swarms invaded northern Egypt and the Nile Valley in Sudan in spring 2013. Although aerial and ground control operations are currently underway in Sudan and have intensified in the past few weeks, the latest reports indicate that the situation continues to deteriorate. Most of the hopper bands have now fledged and an increasing number of adult groups are forming north of Khartoum in the Baiyuda Desert and in eastern Sudan along the Atbara River and on the western side of the Red Sea Hills from Kassala to Haiya. During the remainder of November, adult groups and at least several small immature swarms are expected to appear in the winter breeding areas on the central coast of the Red Sea in Sudan, including the Tokar Delta, and in subcoastal areas in northeast Sudan, including Wadi Oko/Diib. There is a high risk that adult groups and several small swarms will also reach adjacent coastal and subcoastal areas in southeast Egypt between Halaib and Berenice as well as inland to the Allaqi area. Groups of adults may also appear near Lake Nasser prior to continuing east to the coast. So far, only scattered transiens adults have been found near Allaqi. Good rains fell in mid-October in all of the above-mentioned areas and, as a result, breeding conditions are improving. So far, breeding is in progress in Wadi Oko/Diib where solitarious hoppers and adults are present. Egg-laying occurred on the central coast near Suakin and scattered adults are likely to be present in the Tokar Delta. Once adults arrive, they will quickly mature and lay eggs in areas of recent rainfall. If more rains fall, locust numbers will increase further and hopper groups and bands are likely to form from December onwards. In Eritrea, ground control operations are in progress against gregarious hoppers in one area on the central coast of the Red Sea where an outbreak is developing as a result of good recent rains. All efforts are required to carry out ground surveys in all areas on a regular basis and undertake control operations as necessary to reduce the level of winter breeding and subsequent threat to crops and migration to other countries in the Region.

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