Massive locust swarms have invaded Saudi Arabia while a bigger and deadlier attack is ongoing in the Horn of Africa, which is set to descend on large parts of Ethiopia and Kenya, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned Sunday, January 24, 2021.
In Saudi Arabia, locust swarms hit areas along the coast from Jizan to Lith, extending nearly to Duba on the north coast. Control operations are in progress, particularly against second instar hopper groups and a few bands.
Footages on social media show the insects blanketing the skies, highways, and wide fields.
Meanwhile, FAO warned Sunday that dry weather conditions across the Horn of Africa region are expected to facilitate locust swarms, making the invasion in Kenya bigger and deadlier. About 15 out of 47 counties in Kenya have been affected so far.
"As conditions remain dry in some areas, the swarms are expected to disperse throughout southern and northern Ethiopia as well as north-central Kenya," FAO wrote in its latest 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."