Somalia Rain Watch - May 24, 2014


Moderate to light Gu rains continued in most parts of Somalia

Moderate to light Gu rains fell in most parts of the Northwest, the South, some parts of the Northeast, and the central regions from May 11 to 20 (Figure 1). Parts of Awdal, Bay, and the Juba and Shabelle Regions received heavy rains. Little or no rain was recorded in most of Bari, Sanaag, northern Gedo, the coastal areas of the central regions and Lower Shabelle, Sakow District in Middle Juba, and Adanyabal District in Middle Shabelle.

In the Northwest, moderate amounts of rain fell in most parts of Awdal, Sool, and Woqooyi Galbeed Regions, and some parts of Togdheer and Sanaag. However, most parts of the Sool Plateau and upper Nugal Valley in Sanaag Region, the Hawd, and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone received light to moderate rains. Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in Woqooyi Galbeed and Awdal Regions recorded similar amounts of rain. Between 16 and 20 May, heavy rains fell in West Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Borama and Baki Districts and the southern part of Gebiley District causing flash floods. These floods eventually washed down to the lowland plains in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone and Northwest Agropastoral livelihood zone.

In the Northeast, moderate intensity rains with erratic temporal and spatial distribution were reported in some parts of the Sool Plateau, the Hawd, and localized areas in the Nugal Valley, Aduun Pastoral livelihoods zone in Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug. Most parts of Coastal Deeh, East Golis, and Karkaar-Dharoor Valley Pastoral livelihood zones received light rains with some pockets of moderate rainfall. Water prices declined from 9,000 to 4,000 Somali Shillings (SOS) per 20 liter jeri can from April to May. Pasture regeneration has not been widespread, primarily due to in-migration of livestock from areas that have had less rainfall.

In the central regions, moderate to light rains fell in Hiraan Region, parts of the cowpea belt, the Hawd, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zone in Galgaduud and southern Mudug. Rain gauges in Beletweyne, Buloburte, and Jalalaqsi in Hiraan recorded 48 millimeters (mm), 26 mm, and 12 mm, respectively, with one to two rainy days. These rains will likely allow further crop development and increase water and pasture availability in rainfed, agropastoral areas. However, in Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone and localized areas of Addun Pastoral livelihood zone, the rainfall was well below average in terms of amount.

In the South, field reports indicate moderate to heavy precipitation fell in most pastoral and agropastoral areas, which further improved pasture and water availability and increased crop establishment. Exceptions occurred as little or no rain fell in Belet Hawa, Dolow, and Garbaharey Districts in northern Gedo, Elbarde District in Bakool, Sakow District in Middle Juba, and coastal areas of Afgooye and Merka Districts in Lower Shabelle. In some agropastoral and pastoral areas in Adanyabal District in Middle Shabelle, cumulative rainfall this season has been particularly below average. Rain gauges in Janaale in Lower Shabelle and Baidoa in Bay recorded 25 mm of rain each with two and three rainy days, respectively. Similarly, the rain gauges in Jowhar and Hudur Districts recorded a total of 65 mm with five rainy days and 19 mm with three rainy days, respectively. Generally, in the agricultural areas of the South, maize and sorghum crops are mostly healthy and are progressing through different development stages. There has been only minimal replanting this season.

Recent rains improved rangeland resources and vegetation conditions to near average in many parts of the country (Figure 3). With more rain forecast, rangeland resources are expected to increase in many pastoral areas. Forecasts suggest heavy rains of over 50 mm are possible over the next week in most of the Northeast and some parts of the central regions, especially in Sanaag and Sool (Figure 4). In addition, moderate rains are likely in most of the South of between 10 and 50 mm. Drier conditions are likely to prevail in Gedo, the Jubas, and Awdal.