Abu Dhabi - UAE: 17 January 2019 - The swarms of Desert Locust that have started to invade specific areas of the Al Dhafra region in Abu Dhabi over the past few days are being contained and controlled by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) together with local authorities. As part of a targeted action plan, the application of ultra-low volume (ULV) pesticide will begin to exterminate the Locust population in the coming days. This will also reduce its spread and prevent potential damage to agricultural crops and other green areas. The infestation has not resulted in any economic damage, nor has it had any adverse environmental impacts, so far – the situation remains stable and under control.
In the winter season, certain areas of the UAE are prone to Desert Locust swarms due to their migration from coastal areas of neighboring countries. The UAE is a prime breeding ground for the species given its climate and environmental conditions during this time.
Dr. Humaid Al Kindi, Director – Emergency, Safety and Business Continuity at EAD, said: "Following reports of locust sightings in the city of Al Dhafra, our team carried out an inspection and assessment before initiating the emergency plan in place for such events. Together with other authorities in Abu Dhabi, we are undertaking collaborative efforts to control the spread of the Desert Locust to avoid economic damage to the local agriculture sector."
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Desert Locust is considered to be one of the most dangerous pests threatening crop production and food security. Its ability to survive and breed under various climates in areas covering 29 million square kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to India and Pakistan in the east - covering 64 countries – can pose a significant risk to the agriculture sector.
EAD requests that members of the public refrain from collecting the Locusts in order to avoid any health hazards. Any related enquiries may be lodged through the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre, which can be reached at 800 5555.