Somalia Seasonal Monitor: November 23, 2021

Situation Report
Originally published
View original


Ground information and remote-sensing data both confirm rainfall failure across most of Somalia during the November 11-20 period. According to CHIRPS remote-sensing data, most central and northern regions were completely dry while the southern regions received light showers of ≤10 mm (Figure 1). According to remote-sensing data and confirmed by field information, dry conditions in the central and northern regions was climatologically average for the November 11-20 period; meanwhile, rainfall totals in the southern regions were indicative of 25-100 mm deficit from the long-term mean (Figure 2). According to SWALIM’s river station gauge data on November 23, all river level monitoring stations on both the Shabelle and Juba Rivers, except Beledweyne and Buloburte, indicated the rivers are below the long-term mean and significantly below the flood risk thresholds. Low river water levels have negatively affected irrigation activities in riverine areas. With a forecast of low to moderate precipitation over the Ethiopian highlands over the coming week, the risk of flooding remains low.

In the northwest, there was no rainfall across all agropastoral and pastoral livelihood zones in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer, Sool, and Sanaag regions during the November 11-20 period. Although local pasture, browse, and water availability remains generally normal to above normal, the massive in-migration of livestock from deficit-areas of Bari, Nugaal, and Mudug regions is leading to a decline in rangeland resource availability in some areas, especially in Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone of Sool and Sanaag and in parts of Hawd Pastoral livelihood zone of Togdheer. Early water trucking is also reported in parts of Hawd Pastoral and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones.

In the northeast, there was no rainfall across all livelihood zones of Bari, Nugaal, and northern Mudug regions during the November 11-20 period. The poor *deyr *rainfall performance and significant movements of livestock in search of pasture and water have rendered rangeland resources significantly below typical levels. As a result, there are reports of massive livestock out-migration from Nugaal and northern Mudug towards upper catchments of Bari region and towards pastoral areas in neighboring Sool and Sanaag, where conditions are relatively better. Inadequate pasture and water resources are negatively affecting livestock body conditions, milk production, reproduction, and value.

In central regions, atypically dry conditions continued in all pastoral and agropastoral livelihood zones of Galgaduud and southern Mudug, with no precipitation reported during the November 11-20 period. As a result, pasture, browse, and water availability remains significantly below normal. The constant influx of migrating livestock across most livelihood zones is further exacerbating access to pasture and water. There are increasing reports of weakened livestock body conditions, leading to suppressed milk production, reproduction, and value. These trends are significantly affecting people’s ability to earn income and purchase food.

In the south, there was no rainfall across most livelihood zones during the November 11-20 period. Only highly localized areas received light showers, particularly Southern Inland Pastoral and Sorghum High Potential areas of the Shabelle regions; Southern Inland Pastoral of Lower Juba Region; and Sorghum High Potential areas of Bay Region. All rain gauge stations recorded zero amounts of rainfall except Qansahdhere station (Bay), which recorded 17.5 mm of rainfall. Due to the failed rains, prospects for the post-deyr cereal and cash crop harvest in January are very low in many agropastoral and riverine areas. The poor seasonal rainfall outcomes are also reducing rangeland resource availability and livestock performance. There are reports of frequent opportunistic and atypical livestock movements within and across regions in search of pasture and water. Due to the suppressed rainfall locally and in the Ethiopian highlands, there is a limited risk of flooding along the riverine areas as the water levels of both Juba and Shabelle Rivers are below the long-term average.

According to the satellite-derived eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for the period of November 11-20, vegetation conditions in most of 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 preceding below-average *gu *season. Conversely, vegetation conditions remain near to above-median levels in most of the north due to favorable rains from July to mid-October, although faster deterioration is visible in some parts due to significant overgrazing. The seven-day weather forecast from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center through November 30 indicates that no precipitation is likely in most central and northern regions (Figure 4). However, light to moderate rains of up to 15-60 mm is likely in the southern regions, while enhanced precipitations in southern Ethiopia might increase river water levels in the riverine areas of Gedo and Juba regions.

For more rain gauge data, please contact or visit