By Sharon Atieno
Despite efforts to curb the spread of the desert locusts in Eastern Africa, climatic conditions continue to favour locust development, especially in South Sudan, eastern Ethiopia, northern Somalia, northwestern Kenya an northeastern Uganda.
IGAD Climate Prediction & Applications Centre (ICPAC) notes that breeding areas increased in February and March due to suitable conditions and sandy soils in northern Kenya, Ethiopia Oromiya and SNNPR, Somalia’s Somaliland, Eritrea’s Buri Peninsula, and Sudan’s Agig and Alibai.
Though intense control of desert locust in Sudan’s crop areas where wheat cultivation is ongoing and in favourable condition has curtailed infestations, ICPAC says, young adult swarms from southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya pose invasion risk in the crop areas within Eastern Africa.
Below are the highest risk areas for desert locust invasion based on forecasted climate conditions and existing vegetation conditions suitable for an invasion, according to ICPAC.