Somalia Drought Update and GU 2022 Rainfall Performance – Issued 14 June 2022

Drought watch
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The 2022 Gu rainy season in Somalia came to an early end in May, with depressed rainfall amounts recorded and forecasts indicating little to no rainfall through mid-June . The overall seasonal rainfall performance was poor. The northern areas recorded 30% to 60% of the average rainfall while the central and southern areas received 45 % to 75%. This marks a fourth consecutive failed rainy season since late 2020. Gu season rainfall has moderated drought conditions in most parts of the country as it replenished pasture and water resources. However, this improvement is expected to be short-lived as and drought conditions are expected to worsen throughout the prolonged dry Hagaa (July-September) dry season. Current climate forecasts indicate a 62 per cent chance of La Niña  during the June to August 2022 period (IRI). La Niña is generally associated with drought conditions in the Horn of Africa region, including Somalia. The next seasonal rains are not expected until mid-October and available long-range forecasts indicate that a record fifth below-average rainy season is likely across Somalia during the forthcoming October and December 2022 Deyr season. This could set the conditions for a worsening multi-season drought well into 2023. More than 80 per cent of Somalia is currently facing severe to extreme drought conditions. The drought severity levels are comparable to that of 2010/11 and 2016/17 as seen in Annex I. Water resources are expected to decline drastically during the forthcoming dry season as water demand and use increases. In Garowe, there was abnormal drop in ground water level of seven meters between October 2021 and May 2022 (Annex II). The Juba and Shabelle River levels are currently 30 percent below the short-term average, with limited water available to support irrigation of crops and other uses. The river levels are expected to decrease further in the coming weeks and months. The vegetation conditions that had improved in some areas as a results of the Gu season rains are expected to be depleted soon due to the low level of biomass recovery and likely influx of livestock into these areas. The Prospects for Gu season cereal production remain bleak, with crop failure expected in many areas . Due to the poor rains, some communities did not plant during this season. Dry and hot conditions will continue across most parts of the country during this dry Haggai (June/July-September ) season except for parts of Somaliland that will receive moderate Karan rains. With no significant rains foreseen until the next rainy season in October, and the La Nina predictions, the current drought situation will deteriorate further in Somalia. The negative trends are not expected to reverse until the arrival of Deyr (Oct-Dec) 2022 rains. However, the preliminary forecast for the Deyr 2022 season is also below average—FEWSNET
Date of publication: 
June, 2022