Somalia Seasonal Monitor: May 13, 2015
Average Gu rains received in early May in most parts of the country
Moderate rains ranging from 10 to 75 millimeters (mm) with typical spatial coverage and frequency were received in most parts of the country from May 1 to 10, including in the parts of the Northwest that had not yet received Gu rains (Figure 1). The rainfall estimate (RFE2) for May 1 to 10 was between 10 mm below to 50 mm above the 2001-to-2014 mean in different parts of the country. Rainfall was generally below average in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Nugal, and Bari Regions in the North (Figure 2).
In the Northwest, moderate amounts of rain fell in the Hawd, Nugal Valley Pastoral and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones in Elafweyne District of Sanaag Region, and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone in Togdheer Region. There were light to moderate showers on the Sool Plateau, in East Golis Pastoral livelihood zone in Sanaag Region, and in both pastoral and agropastoral areas of Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed Regions. Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in Berbera District, Nugal Valley Pastoral livelihood zone of Talex District, and areas east of Lasanod remained mostly dry.
In the Northeast, the intensity and distribution of the rains varied. Field information reported little to no rain in most pastoral livelihood zones in Bari Region and Nugal Valley Pastoral livelihood zone of Garowe District. However, moderate to light amounts of rain with typical distribution fell in Hawd Pastoral, Addun Pastoral, and Coastal Deeh Pastoral livelihood zones in both Nugal Region and northern Mudug Region, and in East Golis Pastoral, Coastal Deeh Pastoral, and Karkaar-Dharor Valley Pastoral in both Bossaso and Qandala Districts of Bari Region. These rains increased water and pasture availability, which facilitated normal, opportunistic livestock migration.
In the central regions, rainfall totals and intensity varied. Pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones generally received near average amount of rain. In Hiraan, moderate amounts of rain fell with mostly typical spatial and temporal distributions in parts of the pastoral, agropastoral, and riverine areas. In Hiraan, rain gauges collected 68 mm in Buloburte and 14 mm in Halgan with two to three rainy days. The rains thus far this season have already fully replenished natural water catchments and berkads. Pasture and browse conditions have improved, and crop development is occurring normally.
In the South, most areas received well distributed average to above average rainfall. In Middle Shabelle, moderate to heavy rainfall within the region and upstream resulted in the Shabelle River flooding farmland near Mahaday and Jowhar. The Shabelle River is still high, so continued flooding in those areas and additional flooding in other areas is likely over the next several days. These floods have already damaged planted crops. In Middle and Lower Juba, above-average rainfall replenished water catchments in areas that had been dry. In Bay and Bakool Regions, rainfall was heavy. Similarly in Gedo, rainfall was above-average from May 1 to 10. As a result of heavy rains, there were flash floods in parts of Buurdhuubo District. The rains supported seed germination, and encouraged further planting in agropastoral and riverine areas. They filled communal dams and water catchments. Pasture quality has been improved with positive effects on livestock. Since the rains have begun, no reports indicated livestock death or disease related to hypothermia at the start of the rains. Livestock migration is generally following typical seasonal pattern. However, the rains have made some rural feeder roads impassable, hindering trade.
Recent rains continued to increase the availability rangeland resources. Vegetation conditions, as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), are average to above average in many parts of the country, including most of the South, the central regions, and even some parts of the North (Figure 3). The seven-day rainfall forecast for May 14 to 20 (Figure 4) indicates downpours are likely in coastal areas of Eyl and Bender-Beyla Districts in the Northeast. Most parts of the country will experience moderate precipitation ranging between 10 and 30 mm. Some areas may be dry.