Desert Locust Invasion Update 2nd June 2020

Desert Locust Invasion Update 2nd June 2020

2nd June 2020

  • The locust invasion situation in East Africa remains alarming as new swarms from current breeding are expected to form from mid-June onwards, coinciding with the start of the harvest season.

  • Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia continue to face unprecedented threat to food security as the region battles with the impacts of COVID 19, ravaging floods in addition to the locust invasion.

There is a risk that the new swarms will spread across the Indo-Pakistan border as well as to Sudan and perhaps West Africa.

Locust populations remain high in parts of Somalia with young nymphs (hoppers) reported at the Somaliland border with Ethiopia, the coastal region of Somaliland and the north east of Puntland.



  • Ground and aerial control operations continue against hopper bands in the northwest (Turkana, Marsabit).

  •  A few late-maturing swarms were seen south of Lodwar and new infestations were found along the Tana River where hopper bands are present.


  • A few immature and mature swarms remain in the south. Breeding has increased in the Ogaden and hopper bands have been sighted.

  •  Breeding continues near Dire Dawa where hopper bands persist, and adults have formed groups and swarms.

  • Breeding also occurred in Afar and on the eastern edge of the highlands, causing hopper bands to form. Ground and aerial control operations continue.


  • The Desert Locust situation in Somalia is now classified as Dangerous with bands of hoppers reported in the breeding grounds in Galmudug, Somaliland and Puntland.

  • Swarms are laying eggs that will soon hatch as the fourth generation of breeding in Somalia.

  • In the coming weeks, another wave of adults may invade Somalia from across the Gulf of Aden which could result in further breeding and an escalation of the current crisis. The impact of the swarms is being ass

  • Breeding is underway in central areas (Galkayo and Galmudug) where scattered adults and hopper groups are present.

  • Breeding is also underway in the northwest where hopper bands and groups of immature and mature adults are present on the plateau (east of Burao to the west of Boroma) and the coast near Bulhar.

  • Hopper groups are also present in the northeast near Garowe.

Control operations are underway.


  • On the 26 May, at least one swarm was seen in the northeast district of Kaaborg that was probably moving towards South Sudan.

  • Sudan. Scattered gregarious adults are present near the South Sudan border at a few places in Blue Nile, While Nile, and South Kordofan states. A few adults persist in the Nile Valley north of Kordofan.


The situation is currently calm. There is no indication so far of spring-bred swarms forming or leaving Arabia. Swarms will not form in East Africa (Kenya and Ethiopia) until about mid-June. Thereafter, they will move north to Sudan and if they arrive before the summer rains, then they are likely to continue west to eastern Chad and beyond.

While the current threat remains low, it can change significantly in the coming weeks based on rainfall, winds, and the locust situation in Arabia and East Africa.

Therefore, investments in preparedness and anticipatory actions should be immediate and quickly scaled up to face this potential threat.


  • Conditions remain favourable for the continued development of the Desert Locust and the hopper bands reported in Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug have the potential to develop and form new swarms if not controlled.

  • This is likely to be supplemented by new swarms arriving from Kenya after mid-June.

  • The weather forecast for June to August shows higher than normal rainfall in northern Somalia.

  • These ecological conditions would be suitable for a new generation of locusts to develop.

Control operations will likely extend beyond the first half of 2020 in order to target new eggs laid in May and June.

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