East Africa Seasonal Monitor, June 13, 2013
The March to May rains ended with generally favorable crop and livestock production prospects
• Cumulative March to May rainfall amounts were normal to above normal in most of East Africa. In particular, the rains were 200 to 400 percent above average in parts of southern and central Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, localized areas of central Kenya, and northeastern Tanzania.
• However, the rains tapered off in mid-May in many parts of the eastern Horn. The early cessation is likely to reduce crop output, especially in the areas where crops were at critical tasselling, silking, or grain formation stages, including in southeastern and coastal areas of Kenya, parts of Hiran Region in Somalia, eastern Amhara, southern Tigray, and the bimodal cropping areas in the greater Equatoria states in South Sudan.
• Favorable regeneration of pasture and browse coupled with extensive recharging of water points is likely to enhance livestock productivity and delay migration to dry-season grazing areas in many parts of the Horn’s pastoral livelihood zones, including in southern and central Somalia, northwestern, southern, and northeastern Kenya, eastern and southern Ethiopia, and northwestern Tanzania.
A two-week earlier-than-normal rainfall cessation in mid-May signaled the end of the March to May rainy season in many parts of the greater Horn of Africa. However, overall cumulative March to May rains were normal to above normal in most areas, attributed to heavier-than-average rains in March and April (Figure 1). Rains tapered off in mid-May in several areas, resulting in significant dryness during the latter part of May. However, flooding caused damage to infrastructure, assets, crops, and livestock in Somalia and Ethiopia along the Shabelle and Juba Rivers, in Uganda along the Nyamwamba River, in Kenya along the Tana River, andin the Lake Victoria basin in both Kenya and Uganda during March and April. Pasture and browse regeneration improved markedly in many areas of the eastern Horn, resulting in above normal vegetation levels (Figure 2).
The March to May rains account for up to 80 percent of total annual rainfall required for agricultural production in most livelihood zones in Rwanda and Burundi, northern and central Uganda, northern bimodal areas of Tanzania, the highlands of the areas that were in Rift Valley, Western, Nyanza, Central, and Eastern Provinces in Kenya, the Belg-cropping areas in Ethiopia, and southern and central Somalia (See Figure 1 in the East Africa Seasonal Monitor from March 8, 2013). Pastoralists and agropastoralists in the eastern Horn including in northeastern and northwestern Kenya, Somali Region, the lowlands of Oromia Region, and South Omo Zone in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) in Ethiopia, the northern Hawd, and central Somalia