In focus

Drought Conditions Map, Jan 2017

Most parts of Somalia are facing serious drought conditions with the larger part of the population facing severe to extreme drought conditions. Since the last half of 2016, the severity has been spreading spatially and the impacts getting worse with time. Some climate models are already predicting a poor rainy season in the coming season which may further aggravate the existing drought conditions. However, this forecast will be confirmed in the coming month during a regional Climate Outlook Forum.

Somalia Drought Watch

Key messages Despite some increase in rainfall in Somalia during the last half of November 2016, drought conditions continue to be experienced in many parts of the country following the poor and erratic rain since late September. The 2016 Deyr (October-December) rainfall was characterized by a late onset and poor distribution which has led to large rainfall/moisture deficits across the country. The season has come to an end in early to mid- December and was generally very poor with most of the country recording below 50 percent of the normal total rainfall for the season. As a result of poor Deyr season rainfall, drought severity worsened and expanded to more areas, continuing to adversely affect pasture, water, livestock and crops, with large depletion of vegetation cover across the country

Somalia experiencing moderate to extreme drought condtions

The Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) and the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) are pleased to share with you their joint publication: Somalia Drought Watch for October 2016. The key highlights are:      1). Moderate to Extreme drought conditions are being experienced in the country. The negative trends are not expected to reverse until the next rains, which are anticipated in April 2017.      2). During the month of October 2016, most parts of Somalia recorded poor rainfall amounts, with most regions registering 25 to 50 percent of average.      3). Vegetation conditions worsened and drought conditions strengthened and continued to affect pasture, water, livestock and crops, with vegetation cover (NDVI) 60 to 70 percent of average in southern regions.

SWALIM Introduces Telemetric Groundwater Monitoring Stations in Somalia

Outside of the narrow riverine areas of the Juba and Shabelle rivers, where surface water is available throughout the year, groundwater is the main source of water for domestic and livestock use in Somalia. In addition to these domestic uses, limited irrigation using groundwater is carried out in some parts of the country, requiring good management of the vital resource for sustainability.

<<<<NEWS RELEASE – SEPTEMBER 23, 2016>>>>

SWALIM Releases Latest Information on Riverbank Breakages Following analysis of the latest suitable satellite images, some as recent as last week (September 17th), SWALIM has released updated information on the state of the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in advance of the Deyr seasonal rains, which are expected to commence by mid-October (in about three weeks’ time). As the data shows, there are a significant number of breakages or potential breakages in the embankments, giving rise to flood risks should the rivers rise rapidly.

SWALIM Holds “Open Day” Information Sharing Event in Nairobi

On 12 and 13 July, 2016, the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) project held two well-attended days of information sharing at the FAO Somalia office in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was a great success and provided an opportunity for FAO Somalia and FAO Kenya colleagues to learn more about SWALIM’s award-winning work and impact it has on Somalia.

SWALIM Supports Natural Resource Management Activities in Somalia

The rapidly increasing human population in Somalia, coupled with protracted civil strife, continues to exert heavy pressure on the land and environment, resulting in a rapid depletion of the country’s natural resources. The current situation is unsustainable, in that resources are being extracted more quickly than they can regenerate, leading to the gradual loss of these important biological assets. The principle threats to biodiversity in Somalia include commercial land use practices, like deforestation for timber and charcoal production, soil depletion through over-harvesting, and changes in climate, which have led to decreased rainfall.

El Niño, How SWALIM Supported Early Warning and Preparedness

SWALIM Early Warning Activities During the El Niño Event The El Niño climate phenomenon of 2015 was predicted to be one of the strongest and most destructive in history (see SWALIM Newsletter Update 9 of May-August 2015). In anticipation of the potentially dire effects in Somalia, SWALIM worked hard with development partners and Somali authorities to mount an unprecedented campaign of preparedness. Unlike in previous years, when floods caused death and devastation on farmland, infrastructure and facilities such as schools, the situation was different this time round - with most destruction averted following the early actions undertaken. While the more extreme El Niño predictions were not born out in Somalia, a large part of the reason for the limited damage recorded was due to the timely efforts of SWALIM and partners.