During the month of March, observed rainfall data from SWALIM monitored weather stations as well as FSNAU field reports indicate drier than normal conditions in most parts of Somalia. Satellite derived Rainfall Estimates (RFE) show prevailing dry weather conditions in most of the country, a characteristic depictive of the Jilaal dry season (Jan-Mar). However, according to RFE abnormal light rains fell in parts of Bay region in mid-March 2011 (Map 9). In addition, FSNAU field analysts reported localized showers, with limited or no impact on water, pasture and browse, in parts of Juba, Gedo, Bakool, Middle and Lower Juba and Togdheer (Golis/Guban of Sheikh district) regions in the second dekad of March. On the other hand, light rains that precipitated in Awdal and Galbeed (Golis/Guban pastoral livelihood zone) in the first 2 dekads of March led to a slight regeneration of pasture and water.
The cumulative effects of the poor performance of the Deyr 2010 season followed by Jilaal dry season (Jan-Mar), have considerably deteriorated vegetation conditions across Somalia. The dekadal trends of satellite derived Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)) for March 2011 indicates retrogression of vegetation, particularly in the southern and central parts of the country (Maps 6,7,8).
Depleted pasture and water in many parts of Somalia as a result of prolonged dry spell had adverse impact on livestock conditions which have limited migration options considering equally poor vegetation conditions in surrounding areas.
The situation can be aggravated with further delays of the Gu (AprilJune) rains as a consequence of still persisting moderate La Niña conditions in the region.