Poor rainfall across East Africa has increased rainfall deficits amid drought conditions
Prolonged dryness and exceptionally hotter-than-normal conditions have persisted across much of East Africa since January, driving severe deterioration in rangeland resources (pasture and water) in the eastern Horn.
There is deepening concern for a fourth sequential poor rainfall season given the delayed onset of the rains and widening of cumulative rainfall deficits, especially over pastoral areas of the Horn, Ethiopia’s belg cropping zones, and parts of the equatorial sector of the region. Such a four-season shock would be unprecedented on the historical record.
CHIRPS rainfall estimates for the month of March and forecast rainfall through mid-April indicate below-normal rainfall across much of East Africa. Rainfall anomalies of -10 to -200 mm are widespread, with much of the Horn recording less than 60 percent of average rainfall. Rainfall in April, the peak of the gu/long-rains season, is likely to be below average over the eastern Horn, driving the continuation of poor crop and pasture conditions.