Epicentre shifting to eastern Ethiopia and Somalia
As anticipated, numerous swarms formed in northeast Ethiopia during October because of unusually good summer rains. The situation has improved recently due to intensive control operations, and as swarms moved north into the highlands and to Eritrea, south into the Rift Valley, and further east to the Somali region. Some of the swarms that arrived in the highlands of Eritrea moved further north towards Asmara in the past few days. They are likely to continue to the Red Sea coastal plains where control operations are in progress against early winter breeding.
In the Horn of Africa, the epicentre of locust populations is now shifting to the Somali region in eastern Ethiopia and adjacent areas of Somalia where control operations are in progress. A new generation of breeding has commenced in this vast area as mature swarms in northeast Somalia moved southwards to central areas of the country and adjacent areas of the Ogaden in the Somali region of eastern Ethiopia. Egg-laying and hatching are in progress, and hoppers are forming bands. More hatching and band formation will continue during the remainder of this month, especially as swarms arrive from northeast Ethiopia. As a result, a new generation of immature swarms will form in early December that are expected to move south and threaten southeast Ethiopia, southern Somalia, and northeast Kenya.
In eastern Sudan, ground and aerial control operations continue against hopper bands that are fledging and forming groups of immature adults, which are expected to move to the Red Sea coastal plains and join hopper bands that are already present in the Tokar Delta. In Yemen, breeding has ended in the interior and swarms are moving to coastal areas, primarily along the Red Sea where more hopper bands are forming in the north. In Saudi Arabia, control operations have been in progress against hopper bands and adult groups on the Red Sea coast where locusts were recently reported to be declining. Nevertheless, breeding is expected to continue throughout the winter along the Red Sea coast of Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia that will cause a further increase in locust numbers.
The situation remains calm in West Africa and southwest Asia no significant developments are expected.