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West Africa Seasonal Monitor Floods situation update 2020 Season (10-20 September 2020)

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Situation Report
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Mid-September, almost the end of the core months of the season, good seasonal rainfall performance continued to characterize West Africa region particularly the Sahel areas. Markedly, above average rainfall can be observed throughout the Sahel, even the far western areas (over Northern Senegal and southern Mauritania) where persisted seasonal rainfall deficits during these past consecutive years ( 2019, 2018, 2017…). The recent additional heavy rains may worsen the situation over many areas which have been affected by flooding in recent weeks or maintain a high flood risk. Preliminary flood impact over Mali (10-16 Sept) show that the most important exposed population to floods are located in the Inner Delta of the Niger River in Mali. A total of 139,424 people are exposed in these areas (in Djenne, Tenenkou, Youwarou, Niafunke, Dire and Niono). Elsewhere is reported, in Burkina Faso (as of 18 Sept. in 36 affected Provinces), 106,228 people affected of which 50,052 most vulnerable and 12,378 houses destroyed. In Guinea 151,088 people affected including 21,584 affected households. Meanwhile, below-average rainfall since June has sustained dryness across the southern coastal areas along the Mano rivers and the Gulf of Guinea regions.

• Increase and improvement in rainfall since late July resulting widespread wetter than average seasonal rainfall, has benefited vegetation, crops and pasture conditions throughout west Africa region. Sahel region benefited from very good seasonal conditions leading, markedly above average vegetation cover extended throughout the whole Sahel. This year in this region, is expected good prospects in biomass production given the good vegetation condition and good crops production. Water resources have been maintained at good level throughout the West African region due to ongoing favourable conditions.

• According to short-term forecasts, into a one-month rainfall analysis up to 30 September - It is likely that a improvement in the situation will occur over southern coastal areas of the region - rainfall deficits will likely be retrieved in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Southern (Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria).

• According to PRESASS seasonal forecasts update in July, above average rainfall is expected in Sahelian countries for the period July-August-September while rainfall amounts will be concentrated in the mid - season between mid-July and August. It emerges, the dry spells should be longer to normal over most Sudan-Sahelian belt in the second half of the season, including the heading, flowering and the crops ripening phases with high probabilities of late to normal end of season in agricultural areas of Sahelian countries except far northern Senegal, western Mali and the agricultural areas of Mauritania.

• However, ECMWF forecasts (for September–November 2020) indicate average to mostly near average condition in Sahel except Central Mali, Northern and SE Senegal, half western Mauritania and Burkina Faso. In the rest of the region, across the southern regions conditions will likely be below average to mostly near average except most of CAR, Southern Ghana and half northern Nigeria where average condition rainfall is expected. The two sets of forecasts are not currently consistent, with ECMWF being more pessimistic.