UN issues alert on new wave of desert locusts in Somalia

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has issued an alert on the fresh desert locust invasions in Somalia that pose a huge threat to food security.

In its desert locust situation update, FAO said more swarms will in the next days or weeks be seen in southern Somalia.

“Immature and mature swarms are present in the northwest between Boroma and Hargeisa while mature adult groups and swarms are present and breeding in the northeast and in central areas of Mudug and Galgaduud,” said the UN food agency in an alert released on Monday evening, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to FAO, hatching and band formation have commenced in the past few days and more is expected in the coming weeks, including the northwest.

“Although the current swarms remain north of BeledWeyne and the Shebelle River, there are unconfirmed reports of locusts to the south. Aerial and ground control operations with biopesticide are in progress,” said FAO.

It said the situation remains very critical as more swarms form and a new generation of breeding has now started in Somalia and Ethiopia, which will cause new swarms to form by mid-December that are likely to move southwards and threaten Kenya.

“Although countries are better prepared compared to a year ago, survey and control operations need to continue to detect and reduce as many infestations as possible. In addition, locusts are increasing along both sides of the southern Red Sea,” FAO said in its forecast.