The much awaited Gu (April – June) rains have commenced early, during the third dekad of March, across the country based on rainfall station data.
Some areas in the North experienced good rainfall performance. However, in most of South-Central the rains were poor with uneven distribution in space and time. Notable stations recorded above average rains include: Borama (64mm), Burao (18mm), Caynabo (41mm), Bossaso (20mm), Dangaroyo (19mm), Burtinle (38mm), Galkayo(60mm) in the North and Buale and Jowhar stations (28mm each) in the South (Map 1 and Table 1). The above average rains in Northeast resulted in flash floods in Kakaar Mountains that flowed to the Dharor valley leading to loss of unknown numbers of goat and sheep. River (Shabelle and Juba) levels were stable in March.
Satellite derived Rainfall Estimates (TAMSAT-RFE) also indicate moderate rainfall in the last Dekad of March (Maps 6-8 and 10). Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the E-Modis shows that vegetation started to recover, although depressed vegetation is still visible in Lower Shabelle, Jubas, Gedo and Bay regions, following drier than normal Jilaal season (Map 6-8). Additionally, field reports indicate poor pasture in parts of Hawd and Addun of Central.
According to FSNAU field reports, recent rains improved pasture and browse, to some extent in most livelihoods of the country, which will eventually provide recovery to animals after Jilaal dry season.
Improvements, however, will depend on the rainfall intensity and distribution in the coming weeks. Land preparation, ridging, dry/wet planting and de-silting of canals are some of the on-going agricultural activities. Opportunistic livestock migration to areas where pasture is better was observed across the country in March.