Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 12 November 2012

Seasonal Outlook

The latest regional outlook published by the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) reaffirms that the conditions likely to generate an El Niño phenomenon weakened in September and October 2012, with near-neutral conditions in some areas of the Pacific Ocean. As a result, FEWS NET cites increasing concern for the performance of October to December short rains, which account for up to 40 to 60 per cent of annual rainfall in some parts of the Horn of Africa. On the other hand, the outlook notes that the continued weak-to-moderate Indian Ocean Dipole could still result in normal to above-normal seasonal rains. Rainfall has intensified over much of the October-December receiving areas in the past two weeks, with localized flooding reported at the end of October, including from parts of Ethiopia’s Somali Region. Generally, the recent rains have supported the start of cropping activities in agro-pastoralist areas, and are replenishing rangeland and water resources. However, continued unseasonable, above-normal rains in western Ethiopia bring added concern for possible crop damage and post-harvest losses. For more information, contact: gha@fews.net

Meanwhile, the Disaster Risk Management Agriculture Task Force (DRM-ATF) has released its updated road map for post-La Niña recovery, which provides guidance on livelihoods-based interventions in pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and smallholder farming areas of the country. Noting that pastoralist and agro-pastoralist areas are recovering from the 2010-11 drought, having received good rains between October-December 2011 and April-June 2012, the road map requests partners to prioritize asset-building interventions ahead of the next dry season (January-March 2013). To combat livestock disease outbreaks, recommendations include vaccinations against contagious diseases and parasite control. Rangeland management recommendations include improved water resource management and re-seeding of communal drought grazing reserves near communities with palatable, indigenous grasses to boost milk availability for children. Other recommendations include alternative livelihoods support, development of social protection programmes and provision of basic services such as health care, education and infrastructure. For more information, contact: Ilenia.Varjabedian@fao.org

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