• "Intermittent multi-directional winds and local topography may favour swarms to move in varying directions during the projection period."
• "Swarms have been reported to be migrating south-wards with the winds to Somali regions of Ethiopia, central Somalia and one swarm reported in north-eastern Kenya."
The war on desert locusts is far from over, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development projects.
Mandera, Marsabit and Wajir are the highest risk areas for desert locust swarm invasion and adult locust development, the desert locusts’ movement projection November 2021 by the IGAD shows.
IGAD says between October and early November, the desert locust swarms were reported mostly in Afar zone one of Ethiopia.
In Kenya, one swarm was recently reported in Mandera.
IGAD says conditions that favour swarm migration in search of areas to lay eggs are moist sandy soils and the swarms have low suitability in the north of the region.
"Winter breeding is expected to start in Red-Sea areas of Eritrea," it said.
IGAD said the heavy rainfall received in eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia increases the likelihood of having abundant vegetation to sustain hatched locusts to significant numbers of adult locusts, bands and hoppers reported.
"Swarms have been reported to be migrating south-wards with the winds to Somali regions of Ethiopia, central Somalia and one swarm reported in north-eastern Kenya."
IGAD says ecological conditions (particularly the availability of green vegetation) continue to be suitable in parts of the northern sub-region due to the current above-average rainfall which may continue into November before vegetation starts to dry off in December.
It says wind direction and speeds, which highly determine swarm movement, are forecasted to be south-westerly which is likely to favour north-east and north-west locust movement for the mature swarms.
In Ethiopia, the northern wind direction is forecasted to favour the northwest locust swarm movement to Eritrea.
"Intermittent multi-directional winds and local topography may favour swarms to move in varying directions during the projection period."
On October 27, IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre was officially opened by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Ngong'.
ICPAC is a designated regional climate centre by the World Meteorological Organisation to provide climate services and early warnings to 11 East African countries.
As part of the centre's launch, a Disaster Operations Center was established, with a situation room that will monitor major hazards and provide regional early warnings for drought, floods, extreme rainfall, food insecurity, or pests like the desert locust.
ICPAC is committed to continuing to champion innovation in earth monitoring systems, open data access, and multi-hazard early warning systems.
As such, the opening of the situation room follows the launch of East Africa Hazards Watch in July - a system developed by ICPAC to meet the growing need for public and cross-border risk information due to increasing climate extremes.
The system, the first of its kind in Africa, allows tracking climate hazards increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)