Somalia Climate Update October 2014 Monthly Rainfall and NDVI (Issued November 19, 2014)
The month of October was marked by near average rains in most regions of the country.
However, the rains were below average in large areas of Juba, Shabelle, Bay, southern part of Gedo and in pocket areas of Central (Mudug and Galgadud) [Maps 2 and 9].
Rain gauge data collected in October confirm below average rainfall in October in many locations in the South. In the North and Central, the majority of stations show above average rainfall (Map 1 and Table 1).
Heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands has led to river flooding in Midddle Juba (Sakow, Buale and Jilib), Lower Shabelle (Qoryoley and Kurtunwarey), Gedo (Dolow, Bardera, Burdubo and Belethawa) and Hiran (Beletweyn). Flooding in Middle Juba, in particular, could also be attributed to manmade breakages of river embankment’s to facilitate late season residual farming in deshek areas. The river levels are currently stable, although in Gedo they are still within the flood risk level especially in the lower reaches where river levels are still high.
Satellite derived rainfall estimates (RFE) confirm Deyr (Oct-Dec) rainfall activity across the country. However, the anomaly map indicates depressed rainfall in Juba valley, Shabelle valley, Bay, Gedo as well as small pockets in Mudug and Galdgadud regions (Maps 2-5 and 9). The October 2014 Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from the METOP satellite shows near normal vegetation conditions in large areas of the northern regions.
Conversely, further degeneration of biomass was still evident in some livelihoods of South-Central: Southern Inland Pastoral of Gedo and Juba regions; South-East Pastoral of Jubas; Riverine and Agropastoral livelihoods of Shabelles; and large parts of Bay Agropastoral (Maps 6-8 and 10).
Thus far, the Deyr (Oct-Nov) rains have marginally improved pasture and browse, increased water availability. Main cropping activities in October comprised planting, weeding and replanting. In the Cowpea Belt of Central, good germination of cowpea has been reported. In Hiran Agropastoral of Jalalaqsi and Buloburte, crop moisture stress prompted farmers to start supplementary crop irrigation activities. Poor crop germination has been reported in Baidoa and Burhakaba districts of the Bay region, which is mainly attributable to erratic and below normal rainfall performance. Crop yields are expected to reduce due to river flooding that affected crop-growing areas of Middle Shabelle, Hiran, Gedo and the Juba regions.