Horn of Africa is worst desert locust affected area: FAO

Gregarious locusts congregate on some ground vegetation at Larisoro village near Archers Post, on January 21, 2020. - The outbreak of desert locusts, considered the most dangerous locust species, is significant and extremely dangerous warned the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation ,Monday, describing the infestation as an eminent threat to food security in months to come if control measures are not taken (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP) (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A desert locust is seen feeding on a plantation in a grazing land on the outskirt of Dusamareb in Galmudug region, Somalia December 22, 2019. REUTERS/Feisal Omar/File Photo

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday disclosed that the Horn of Africa (HoR) region is the worst desert locust affected area from the three hot-spots of threatening locust activity globally.

Noting that the three desert locust hot-spot areas include the Horn of Africa, Uganda and South Sudan, as well as some Asian countries, the FAO said that the Horn of Africa is “the worst affected area.”

“The current situation remains extremely alarming in three main areas. In the Horn of Africa, the worst affected area, there is an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods as swarms increased in Ethiopia and Somalia and continued to move south to Kenya,” the FAO said in its desert locust outbreak update issued Tuesday.

According to the FAO, the increasing desert locust swarms in Ethiopia and Somalia have continued to migrate into Kenya, where they spread to 14 northern, central and southwest counties, reaching within 200 km of northeast Uganda and southeast South Sudan.

“Some swarms have already laid eggs and hatching is almost certainly underway,” the FAO said, adding that swarms also entered the Rift Valley in Ethiopia.

According to the FAO, aerial and ground operations were in progress but remained insufficient, in which breading during February “will cause a further increase with numerous hopper bands in all three countries.”

It also stressed that swarms may still reach Uganda and South Sudan, as locust infestations continued to grow along both sides of the Red Sea where numerous hopper groups, bands and adult groups formed.