East Africa is currently experiencing one of its largest-ever recorded locust invasions. Over the last few years, abnormal rainfall, continued supply shortages and insufficient resources for pest control have impeded swam reduction efforts, compounded pre-existing food shortages and created ideal locust breeding conditions.

Now, with mobility limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are concerned that another wave of locusts could overwhelm the region, causing far more devastation and widespread food insecurity.

In this month’s Maxar Spotlight, Maxar analysts use human geography data coupled with advanced remote sensing techniques to analyze and monitor vulnerable East African agricultural areas and identify areas that could be affected by a second wave of locust swarms.

Read the periodical in full to gain a better understanding of how Maxar Earth Intelligence capabilities can help reveal patterns of life and insights to predict, mitigate and resolve crisis and conflict.

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Sneak Peek: (excerpt from Maxar Spotlight, Vol. 22)

Modeling vulnerability to locust swarms

By utilizing remote sensing technology and geographic information system (GIS) workflows, Maxar helps to offset some of the aforementioned challenges by illuminating locations that are at greatest risk for locust invasions and swarm damage. This allows for improved pest control planning and supply management. The following vulnerability model aggregates several complex raster layers that are based on key environmental and social conditions that impact both locust activity and mitigation measures. The individual layers include violent conflict, preexisting food insecurity, soil characteristics (soil type and soil moisture) and land use land cover (LULC). The next several pages provides further information about each individual layer.

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