‘Extremely serious’ locust infestation in Yemen worsens in August, UN reports

‘Extremely serious’ locust infestation in Yemen worsens in August, UN reports

Locust
The locust infestation in Yemen, already termed “threatening and extremely serious” last month, worsened during August as immature swarms of the crop-devouring insects formed in the interior and moved into the central highlands, with the possibility that they may now invade neighbouring countries, the United Nations warned in its latest update.

The locust infestation in Yemen, already termed “threatening and extremely serious” last month, worsened during August as immature swarms of the crop-devouring insects formed in the interior and moved into the central highlands, with the possibility that they may now invade neighbouring countries, the United Nations warned in its latest update.

Some swarms remained in the interior where another generation of breeding is likely to occur while a few others moved to southern Oman, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported, in what has been called the worst locust infestation in Yemen in nearly 15 years.

The swarms in the highlands are expected to reach the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coast where they will mature and lay eggs. A few swarms could also reach coastal areas in Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Sudan and northern Somalia where good rains fell during August, FAO said.

There is also a slight risk that a few swarms could reach the Indo-Pakistan border during the first half of September. Elsewhere, heavy rains and flooding occurred in the interior of Sudan and Eritrea where locust numbers are expected to increase.

Good rains fell and ecological conditions were favourable in the northern Sahel region of West Africa bordering the Sahara, FAO noted.