Somalia Seasonal Monitor: December 5, 2021

Situation Report
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FEWS NET publishes a Seasonal Monitor for Somalia every 10 days (dekad) through the end of the current October to December deyr rainy season. The purpose of this document isto provide updated information on the progress of the gu season to facilitate contingency and response planning. This Somalia Seasonal Monitor is valid through December 10, 2021 and is produced in collaboration with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) Somalia, the Somali Water and Land Information System (SWALIM), a number of other agencies, and several Somali non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Despite improved rainfall in the South, most of Somalia remained dry through the end of November

Following failure of the deyr seasons across most areas of Somalia, improved rainfall conditions were observed in much of the southern regions during the November 21-30 period. The remote-sensing data (CHIRPS), supported by ground information confirmed light to moderate rainfall of up to 25-75 millimeters (mm) across most of the South while the rest of the country including central and northern regions received little or no rainfall (Figure 1). According to the CHIRPS remote-sensing data dry conditions at this time of year in the southern, central, northern regions was climatologically average. However, the end-of-November precipitations in Juba and parts of Gedo, Bay, and Shabelle regions were 10-50 mm above the long-term mean (Figure 2). According to SWALIM’s river station gauge data on December 5, most river level monitoring stations on Shabelle regions are below the long-term mean although still capable to support irrigation activities. Conversely, water levels in the upper stream areas of the Juba River show an increase either at the long-term mean level or slightly higher. Due to the forecast of little to no rainfall situation over the Ethiopian highland areas over the coming week, the risk of flooding in southern regions remains low.

In the northwest, there was little to no rainfall across most agropastoral and pastoral livelihood zones in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions during the November 21-30 period. However, a short span of localized light showers were reported in Hargeisa and Gabiley districts in Woqooyi Galbeed, Borama district in Awdal, part of West Golis livelihood zone of Sanaag, and a limited area of Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihood zone. While pasture and water availability range from near to above average in many areas of the zone, conditions are relatively below average to poor in large parts of Hawd Pastoral and NIP livelihood zones in Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions due to recent, below average rainfall and significant livestock in-migration from northeastern pastoral areas. Early water trucking is already reported to be ongoing in large parts of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of Togdheer region while water sources are drying up in parts of Sool region.

In the northeast, most pastoral livelihood zones of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions experienced dry conditions during the November 21-30 period. However, localized light to moderate showers were reported in coastal areas of Bari and Nugaal as well as in a few pockets of East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Alula and Qandala districts in Bari region. Overall, rangeland conditions are below average in Bari while below average to poor across most of Nugaal and northern Mudug. Significant livestock outmigration from Hawd, NIP, and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones of Nugaal and Mudug to relatively better areas of Bari, Sool, and Sanaag were already reported. Inadequate pasture and water resources continue to negatively affect livestock body conditions, milk production, reproduction, and value. In central regions, most pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of Galgaduud and southern Mudug continued to experience atypically dry conditions during the November 21-30 period. Exceptions are localized areas of Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zone of Elder and Harardhere districts and adjacent Addun Pastoral areas, which received localized light to moderate showers. Although these rains brought some relief in terms of access to water, rangeland conditions in most livelihood zones remain significantly below average. These trends are significantly affecting people’s ability to earn income and purchase food.

In the south, improved rainfall conditions were reported across most regions during the November 21-30 period. Moderate to heavy rainfall with fair distribution was reported across Middle and Lower Juba regions and most of Bay, Middle and Lower Shabelle, and southern Gedo regions. The rest of the south – including most of Bakool, Hiiraan, and northern Gedo, received relatively less rainfall. Rain gauge stations recorded 65 mm in Sakow (Middle Juba), 64 mm in Janale/Marka (Lower Shabelle), 32 mm in Baidoa (Bay), 5.5 mm in Jamaame (Lower Juba), 4 mm in Beledweyne (Hiiraan), and 4 mm in Hudur (Bakool). The rains reported during this period have had a positive effect on rangeland conditions but have had limited impact on deyr crops. Most crops are unlikely to recover due to dry conditions and moisture stress, though the late November rains supported standing crops in localized areas of Bay and the Shabelle regions. The water level along the Shabelle River generally remains below the long-term mean, while the Juba River shows mixed trends with average to slightly above average levels upstream and below average downstream.

According to the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period of November 21-30, vegetation conditions in many southern and central Somalia and in parts of northeastern Somalia continued to be significantly below median levels (Figure 3) due to the failure of the deyr rains and below average conditions in past seasons, and atypical livestock in-migration from rain-deficit areas. Conversely, vegetation conditions remain near to above-median levels in parts of the north and in localized areas of south-central Somalia due to the impact of recent rains. The seven-day weather forecast from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center through December 10 indicates that no precipitation is likely across most regions and livelihoods of Somalia (Figure 4). Little to no rainfall forecast over the Ethiopian highlands over the coming week will likely lead to reduced water flow into the Juba and Shabelle regions.

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About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.