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West Africa Seasonal Monitor (2021 Season) - June Update, 2021

Situation Report
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• By the end of June the early stages of the rainfall season are coming to an end, the West Africa region is characterised by variable conditions and rainfall deficits are noticeable in Niger, north-central Nigeria, western Chad (in the Lac region), southern Mauritania, the border areas between Senegal and Mali, across the central belt of Mali, Guinea Bissau, western Guinea and south-western Ghana. June provided respite in some areas of the region and the above average rainfall in western Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, eastern CAR and eastern Chad offset early season deficit. Burkina Faso, Liberia, southern Cameroun and western CAR benefitted from favourable conditions. Despite the below average rainfall recorded in Gambia, heavy windstorms from June to date have caused significant destructions to public infrastructure and individual properties. So far, from the National Disaster Management, flash flooding, windstorms, fire outbreaks affected over 3,000 people across the country, with 10 deaths reported.

• In the past three (3) months (between 1 April and 30 June), overall this early stage of the season is characterised by variable conditions across the region. Over the eastern Sahel rainfall deficits mainly affected Niger, northern Nigeria western Chad and Northern Cameroon.
Furthermore, in the westernmost areas of the region below average rainfall was recorded over southern Mauritania, eastern and southern Senegal, north-western Mali, Guinea Bissau and western Guinea as well as northern Cote d’Ivoire. In contrast seasonal rainfall is above average in western Senegal. Burkina Faso, Liberia, Sierra Leone, eastern Guinea, southern Cameroon, western CAR and pockets in eastern Chad and central Mali. Early rainfall deficits has had an significant impact on the vegetation conditions that are currently below average in the western parts of the region (south-eastern Senegal, south-western Mali), in southern Burkina Faso, northern Ghana, northern Benin, in central Nigeria, central Cameroon (north Region) and south-western Chad. It can be noted that the vegetation is slowly recovering in some areas linked to rainfall improvement, but in the areas where rainfall deficits persist – particularly in northern Nigeria. Central Cameroon (North Region) and south-western Chad – below average vegetation conditions are most pronounced.

• According to short-term forecasts covering the period until 20 July 2021, an improvement of seasonal rains will likely observed across most of the region with wetter than normal conditions across Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire Ghana, Benin, Togo, south-western Mali, southwestern Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad Basin, including in central Chad. However, in coastal areas of the region over Senegal, Southwestern Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau and far western Guinea, as well as in pockets over northern Mali, western Niger, North-western Cote d’Ivoire, and parts of Cameroon and CAR and south coastal Nigeria, rainfall is expected to be drier than normal.

• According to the PRESASS 2021 seasonal forecast June Update, average to above average seasonal rainfall (in June-August 2021) is expected over most of the Sahelian and Sudanian belt, except for the coastal areas of southern Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau,
Guinea and Sierra Leone. These conditions are associated with an early to normal onset of seasonal rains in the western parts of the region (Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, western Mali and western Burkina Faso), and normal to late in the eastern sector (eastern Burkina Faso, Niger, northern Nigeria and Chad) and long to medium dry spells throughout most of the region. This could mean that the region might be affected by more irregular and extreme rainfall during the 2021 season, with an increased risk of prolonged dry spells affecting crop development, and intense rainfall leading to floods.