GDO Analytical Report: Drought in southern Angola - October 2019

from European Commission - Joint Research Centre
Published on 18 Oct 2019 View Original

Executive summary

  • A scarce rainy season affected parts of southern Angola (and southern Africa in general) during the first few months of 2019, providing insufficient water to buffer the long dry season ahead. The general picture is not clear, as many locations currently showing signs of abnormal dryness actually recorded normal or close to normal precipitation during the last wet season.

  • Provinces of Cunene, Cuando Cubango, Huila and Moxico exhibit low levels of soil moisture and very high degree of vegetation stress at the moment.

  • Due to the strong precipitation seasonality, with about 80% of annual rainfall between December and March, significant rainfall is expected only from November onwards, with October marking the end of the dry season.

  • The outlook of precipitation for the next months is positive, but for the exposed population there will not be relief before pastures re-growth and until the next harvest.

  • In presence of widespread poverty and a population reliant on meagre subsistence agriculture, even minor dry spells may hamper food security locally. The humanitarian situation is possibly underreported. In 2015 and 2016 Angola experienced one of its worst droughts of the previous 60 years.

Note that data are sparse and sometimes unreliable in this part of the world, therefore multiple sources need to be evaluated before drawing conclusions. We checked independent sources for biophysical indicators and the overall picture is consistent with the one presented below. No humanitarian emergencies were highlighted by international organizations so far , but SADC is flagging a drought early warning for southern Angola and the wider region.