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WFP Seasonal Monitor - East Africa: The 2019 Season, November 2019

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HIGHLIGHTS OF JUNE - SEPT & OCT - NOV PERIODS

This bulletin provides an overview of the June to September season for northern countries and the October to early November short rains for equatorial areas.

▪ Cumulatively, the June-September seasonal rains in northern areas performed favourably except in northeast Ethiopia, eastern Eritrea and inland Djibouti. There was timely or early start of season in June providing an opportunity for crop cultivation but the distribution across the months however varied, with below-average performance in July and August, which may have impacted on planted crops in some locations.
Generally, a favourable seasonal harvest is expected.

▪ In the equatorial region, the June-September period remained dry following the declined/ cessation of rains by end of May/early June. This limited the recovery of late planted crops in southeastern and coastal Kenya, and southern Somalia, which led to reduced harvests in JulyAugust. The vegetation condition in pastoral areas started deteriorating and by September it significantly impacted on the availability of pastures leading to livestock outmigration and concentration, declining body condition, livestock deaths (Mandera, Kenya) and conflicts over dwindling grazing resources.

▪ In October, the rains continued in parts of northern sector and started in the equatorial areas (October-December short rains). The aboveaverage performance provided the much-needed relief in pastoral areas except in parts of eastern Kenya, central and northeast Somalia. The rains have however declined in early November but it is still early to conclude on the monthly performance.

▪ The vegetation condition has improved greatly signalling crop development in agricultural areas and availability of livestock grazing resources. Water resources have also improved except in isolated locations in northwest Kenya and along Somalia-Ethiopia border.
Availability of water and pastures minimises livestock outmigration and competition for resources.

▪ The rains received during June-September caused flooding in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sudan and parts of Karamoja (Uganda). The intense rains in October heightened the flooding including in Kenya and Somalia affecting many people. Majority are in South Sudan (over 750,000),
Ethiopia (570,000 including over 202,000 displaced mainly in Somali region), Somalia (547,000 including over 300,000 displaced), and Kenya (over 100,000). The heavy rains and flooding have also destroyed croplands and crops, killed livestock (northeast Kenya and Ethiopia), damaged infrastructure, and constrained access to social services (health, schools, markets etc.) and hindered logistic/transportation operations among others.

▪ The forecasts for December (NMME) indicate possibility of rains continuing in many areas of equatorial region that will likely lead to more flash and riverine flooding given that in many areas the soil moisture is saturated. Severe flooding incidences with serious repercussions on humanitarian operations may result, hence, the need for early preparedness and monitoring. Incidences of waterborne related diseases, emergence of livestock diseases due to increased wetness, and post-harvest losses in areas where harvesting is due may also increase.

However, November rains will be an opportunity for rangeland regeneration and water replenishment in areas that have not received sufficient rains, such as central and northeast Somalia.