Somalia: Critical Corporate Initiative: Climate Response Analysis for Adaptation (December 2021)


Executive summary

This report provides an overview of the projected impacts of climate change in Somalia at the national and local levels–from a livelihood zone perspective. The analysis focused on four livelihood zones the Sorghum High Potential Agropastoral, the Addun Pastoral, the Southern Agropastoral, and the Riverine Gravity Irrigation. These zones were selected based on the frequency of drought and floods, inconsistent rainfall patterns, and their potential for producing staple crops and livestock keeping. At the national level, mean temperatures are projected to increase by 2050, with an anticipated decline in mean precipitation; however, the second season (Gu) is expected to be wetter than the first season (Deyr). Locally, at the zone level, there will be a substantial increase in mean temperatures by 2050, with an average increase of 2-3°C within all four livelihood zones. This points to a higher probability of heat stress which is likely to affect the Sorghum High Potential Agropastoral, Addun Pastoral, and Southern Agropastoral Zones where livestock production is dominant. While the first season will experience a decline in precipitation by 2050, dominant changes in precipitation are predicted for the second season, particularly in the Riverine Gravity Irrigation Zone. Following the projections on precipitation, the four zones are exposed to flooding and waterlogging risks, especially during the wet months. The Riverine Gravity Irrigation and Southern Agropastoral Zones are high flood risk and waterlogging zones. The impacts of climate risks will affect the production and suitability of major crops, e.g., maize and cowpeas, as well as livestock and livelihood patterns.

Climate change is among the drivers of migration in Somalia due to climate pressures on resources, mainly water and pasture. Extreme weather conditions such as floods, droughts, increasing temperatures, and irregular seasonal patterns lead to livelihood losses and resource scarcity. This, in addition to violence caused by political instability and armed conflicts, form the prominent pathways leading to migration out of Somalia. Pastoral livelihood zones are particularly affected by the resourcescarcity pathway, which disrupts pastoralists’ mobility strategies, rendering them vulnerable to food insecurity. South-central agropastoral and riverine livelihood zones are particularly affected by the livelihood-loss pathway, which causes famines and displacement.

An econometric analysis conducted using the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade projects that despite climate-induced losses, production and yield will increase the availability and stability of Somalia’s food supply through 2050. These increases are expected to decrease levels of hunger and undernourishment by increasing caloric availability and consumption. While these gains are in line with socioeconomic trends, they are due to rapid industrialization, technological innovation, and improving education levels rather than improving climatic conditions. On the contrary, agricultural gains will be suppressed by negative climatic trends that prevent the sector from reaching the maximum potential for productivity. Maize shows low resilience under a climate change scenario and thus faces the gravest threat. Nonetheless, the production quantities and yields of all commodities modeled (i.e., pulses, sorghum, vegetables, sesame, and small ruminants) are adversely impacted by climate change through 2050. These gains may be distributed unevenly, leading to a disparity in areas of impoverishment. A geospatial hotspot analysis of eight vulnerability dimensions found a high number of overlapping vulnerabilities in health, inequality, and food insecurity across all the zones. In the absence of effective interventions, the current vulnerability suggests a prevalence in the future. This points to the urgency of implementing national-level agricultural and/ or socioeconomic development strategies at the zonal level.

WFP employs three programming tools to implement climate resilience programming in Somalia: Integrated Context Analysis (ICA), Seasonal Livelihood Programming, and Community-Based Participatory Planning (CBPP). Currently, WFP’s climate resilience programming in Somalia, under the Interim Country Strategic Plan 2019-2021, is aligned to Strategic Outcomes 2 (Activity 1) and 4 (Activity 1). These outcomes focus on enhancing the capacity of the most vulnerable groups to enable them to bounce back after climatic shocks or adapt to the changing environment and build resilient food systems. Still, WFP has an opportunity to integrate new activities, or remodel its current activities, following the adaptation options recommended by stakeholders. WFP has a capacity-building component in Strategic Outcomes 2 and 4 and therefore stands a chance of extending the training provided to smallholder farmers. The focus has been on improved productivity and postharvest management; thus, other components that link climate change to environmental management, such as rangeland rehabilitation, water conservation, land management, reforestation, and agroforestry, could be considered. WFP has a platform for improving the linkage between nutrition and climate resilience based on the behavioral change approach in Strategic Outcomes 1 and 3 by creating awareness on climate risks and the nutritional decisions that can increase adaptation among households.
Although Strategic Outcome 5 does not delve into climate change, WFP can still take the climatechange perspective in strengthening the capacity of national institutions. There is room to integrate the dissemination of climate information in its programming through actionable seasonal forecasts and early warnings. To effectually implement these recommendations, WFP needs to work closely with the government ministries involved in climate change, international and local NGOs, and the community. Additionally, based on the predicted impacts of climate change, there is a need to mobilize funds from sustainable sources, e.g., from the national government, bilateral development partners, international organizations, and development finance institutions.