FAO warns of renewed desert locust invasion in Kenya, Ethiopia

Photo: ©Ministry of Agriculture of Yemen

A mature swarm flying over a village near Abyan, Yemen, looking for suitable areas to lay eggs that will hatch after about two weeks

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 25 (NNN-Xinhua) — The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned swarms of desert locusts are expected to descend on large parts of Ethiopia and Kenya in the coming weeks.

In its latest situation update, FAO disclosed dry weather conditions across the Horn of Africa region is expected to facilitate desert locust swarms in large parts of Kenya and Ethiopia.

“As conditions remain dry in some areas, the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern and northern Ethiopia as well as north-central Kenya,” said the latest FAO report.

“Any rainfall that occurs in the coming weeks will cause swarms to mature and lay eggs that will hatch and give rise to hopper bands during February and March,” the FAO report said.

Intense ground and aerial control operations are in progress in both countries to reduce current locust swarm populations so that the scale of the upcoming breeding may be lower, it added.

Earlier this month, the Ethiopian government announced it had dispatched airplanes and helicopters in its fight against desert locust invasion.

The aircraft are being used to assess the extent of desert locust invasion as well as to spray chemicals on desert locust affected areas. — NNN-XINHUA