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Special Report: East Africa 2020 flood impacts on agriculture (Updated May 19th, 2020)

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• The March to May (MAM) rainfall period was one of the wettest the region has seen since 1981 (Figure 1), following an already record wet 2019 October to December (OND) rainfall period.

• The early onset of rains and above-average rainfall since February promoted land preparation and planting activities for the MAM season across Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, along with the Belg season in Ethiopia.

• However, the abundant rains have also caused localized flooding, mudslides, flashfloods, and river overflows over the past months causing casualties, population displacement, infrastructure damage, and crop damage in parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and Yemen.

• Cropping conditions remain generally favourable as rains are expected to be beneficial to planting and crop development across much of the region; however, localized losses and crop damage are expected in areas worst affected by flooding (Figure 2).

• Abundant rains have also promoted the breeding and development of desert locusts and protracted the outbreak across the region, which continues to pose a significant threat to main season crops.

• Above-average rainfall is expected to continue across much of the region through May which will increase the flood risk across many areas and further protract the desert locust outbreak (See May Outlook Pg. 8).