WFP Seasonal Monitor - East Africa: The 2017 Season, Bulletin 2017 – 5, December 2017

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 29 Dec 2017

Highlights

  • Somalia has now experienced an unprecedented fourth consecutive drought. Dry conditions returned after only a small reprieve in early November. This will further worsen the already critical humanitarian situation.

  • In Eastern Kenya, earlier than usual retreat of the seasonal rains will lead to a significant degradation in pasture and marginal crop conditions.

  • The La Nina event currently underway is expected to end by Spring 2018. Despite forecasts of moderate intensity it could lead to significant rainfall deficits during the next season.

  • The current seasonal forecasts are not consistent in their outlook.
    Alternative analysis for Somalia predicts a pessimistic outcome for the next season

Context: A Succession of Droughts in the Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa in the grip of long term drought

Successive droughts have affected the Horn of Africa since March 2016. The current season is the fourth consecutive time when severe rainfall deficits have resulted in poor crop and pasture production.

These droughts have been most intense in Somalia, but they have also severely affected eastern Kenya and SE Ethiopia. Since March 2016, parts of central Somalia have received about half the usual rainfall. The impact has been less intense but still significant in central and eastern Kenya and the Somali region of Ethiopia.

This relentless sequence of climatic shocks together with insecurity and high food prices is having a profound negative impact on vulnerable populations . Pastoralist communities have been particularly hard hit and the long term drought could lead to irreversible effects on pasture quality