March marks the end of the dry Jilaal (January-March) season. However, it also marks the commencement of early Gu (April-June) rains in some parts of the country. Observed rain gauge data for March indicates mostly dry and hot weather conditions during the first two dekads of March. However, signficaint amounts of rainfall were recorded across most parts of the country in the third dekads as shown in Map 1 and Table 1. Wajaale, Odwenye and Dinsor rain guage stations recorded the highest amount of rainfall with over 80mm all recorded in the third dekad .
Vegetation conditions measured through the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for March indicate continued deterioration of pasture and vegetation across the country as shown on Maps 6 – 8. Although there was deterioration in rangeland conditions, this was much better than vegetation condition during a typical Jilaal season, owing to average to above average rainfall received during the preceding Deyr (October – December 2019) season.
Rainfall during March partially replenished natural water-catchments and Berkads and subsequently improved water availability and pasture/browse regenerations. However, flash foods were reported in the Golis of Northwest, with damages to some roads.
Livestock body condition remains average and small ruminants continued to give birth, thereby improving herd sizes.
Land preparation for the current Gu season has begun in most parts of southern somalia and limited areas of the northwest agro pastoral in northern somalia . Some farmers have already dryplanted in anticipation of the start of Gu rains in later March/early April.
Desert Locust continues to pose a major threat to pasture and crop throughout 2020. Desert Locust swarms are still present in some parts of the Northwest, including Guban (Lughaya and Bullahar districts), East Golis and the coastal parts of Erigavo and Lasqoray districts . However, damages to pasture remain localized.