Somalia Drought Update & April 2022 Rainfal Outlook
The latest rainfall forecast from ICPAC is now indicating that below normal rains are expected in the country during April. Forecasts from other sources also show higher chances of below normal rains in Southern Somalia and normal rains in the rest of the country for the period April through June. Given forecast La Nina conditions which are expected to persist in April, ongoing drought in Somalia will worsen in April and possibly continue at least through mid-2022. Worst affected areas will be central and southern parts of the country. SWALIM’s drought monitoring based on field reports and the Combined Drought Index indicates that, currently, about 80% of the country is facing extreme drought conditions. This has continued to cause loss of livestock and human suffering. Water shortage is widespread. Water and food prices remain high and continue to rise in many areas. Preliminary results from an ongoing survey of boreholes in Puntland indicates that water trucking is on the rise with some boreholes serving more than 15 trucks per day. This has in turn led to extended pumping hours where over 60% of them are operating for more than 12 hours in a day. There has been a wide disruption of normal activities in some areas where children have stopped going to school. The lack of water and pasture for livestock has impacted negatively to the animal conditions with livestock deaths increasing in many areas and an increasing proportion of the surviving ones being in very weak conditions. Juba and Shabelle river levels continued to decrease during the month of March. The graphs in Figure 2 & 3 show comparison of 2021/22 and the short term mean (2002 to 2022) for Shabelle and Juba river levels at Belet Weyne and Luuq stations, respectively. Current river levels are lower than the short term mean for both stations. Irrigated agriculture in the lower reaches of the two rivers have been seriously hampered by the low river levels . At Luuq along the Juba river in Gedo region, the unprecedented low river levels has exposed the dry river bed. According to the revised March to May 2022 seasonal forecast issued by IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Center (ICPAC) on 28 March 2022, there is a greater likelihood of below average rainfall in April 2022 in the southern pars of Somalia as well as the adjacent Ethiopian highlands as shown on Map 2. High temperatures are expected during the same month of April. High temperatures will lead to increased evaporation and increased demand for water among livestock, leading to worsening drought conditions. Following the failure of three consecutive rainy seasons since October 2020, and forecast below average 2022 Gu season rainfall, the cumulative effect will likely lead to extended and worsening drought conditions in Somalia. The seasonal rains started in the last week of March in some southern and a few places in the north, briefing a temporary relief to these areas. Drought condition will likely persist and could even worsen unless the rains continue in the coming weeks and months. While current forecasts indicate a likely below average March to May 2022 Gu season rainfall, flash floods or extended dry periods may occur in some areas. SWALIM will keep updating this forecast for shorter lead time and will share with you through regular bulletins throughout the rainfall season.
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