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UAE - First locust swarm exterminated

Small groups of desert locusts were spotted on Abu Dhabi’s Dalma Island, but they were exterminated as soon as the sighting was reported, authorities have said.

The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa) confirmed that its team surveyed a 6sq km area of farmland on the island and got rid of the small gatherings of locusts through fumigation.

It was the first locust swarm found in the country, but no significant damage to crops was reported, the authority said.

The control team at the Dalma Island Centre, in cooperation with the Al Dhafra Municipality, ensured that pesticides were sprayed across the area where the pests were found.

Agricultural authorities in Abu Dhabi assured that they are fully prepared to “confront any desert locust swarms coming from the breeding areas in the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Sea coasts”.

Surveys will continue across the Capital, especially in border areas where swarms are likely to cross. Municipalities have also intensified forest survey operations and monitoring in other areas.

Desert locusts have invaded parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen since the beginning of February, posing a threat to the agriculture sector. Millions have also swarmed into Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia – the worst infestations in decades.

Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, acting director of communication and community service at Adafsa, said: “All measures are in place to control the desert locusts using safe and recommended pesticides. The authority is working closely with governments and international bodies monitoring locust movements to ensure swift action and reduce potential crop loss.”

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