Deyr rainfall expected to sustain current outcomes, except in some pastoral areas
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
Since the end of Somalia’s prolonged drought from late 2016 to late 2017, significant improvement in food security outcomes has occurred throughout the country, driven by mixed rainfall performance during the 2017 Deyr season, widely average to above-average 2018 Gu season rainfall, and large-scale humanitarian assistance. Southern rainfed agropastoral areas realized above-average 2018 Gu production, while most pastoral areas saw gains in livestock production due to average to above-average vegetation conditions and low to medium livestock conception levels. Nevertheless, livelihood protection deficits and food consumption gaps persisted in some pastoral areas in September, indicative of Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) to Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes. This was primarily driven by high livestock losses and off-take during the prolonged drought, and additional severe livestock losses from Cyclone Sagar in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone. A mild July to September Hagaa dry season enabled food security improvements, and the start of the Deyr rains in October combined with above-average soil moisture is supporting cropping activities and pasture and water regeneration in most rural areas.
During the July to September Hagaa dry season, many parts of the country received little to no rainfall. Most of Guban Pastoral livelihood zone has remained seasonally dry since the end of the Gu rains in May; however, localized areas in Lughaya and Zeylac districts received unusual light to moderate rains and flash floods in September and October originating in the Golis Mountains, which improved rangeland conditions. Several southern agropastoral and riverine areas received light to moderate rain (Figure 1). Overall, the Hagaa season was mild due to the lasting impact of good Gu rainfall performance. Lower and Middle Juba, Lower Shabelle, southern Bay, and localized areas of Bakool and Hiiraan received below-average to average cumulative Hagaa rainfall that was sufficient to increase forage growth and water availability and support off-season maize and sesame production in rainfed agropastoral and riverine areas.
In northwestern agropastoral areas, a dry spell in July was followed by below-average to average August to September Karan rains, thereby improving the short-cycle maize and sorghum harvest outlook for November. However, due to erratic rain distribution and maize stalk borer incidence, sorghum and maize harvests in Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zone are expected to be 64 percent of the 2010-2017 average. Maize stalk borer is a common pest that typically affects agropastoral production, though it is more common in southern Somalia. Preliminary analysis suggests incidence of stalk borer in this livelihood zone may have been influenced by the poor rainfall, but remained within tolerable and manageable levels. In Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zone, planting of sorghum and grass for fodder is in progress.
The Deyr rainy season typically begins in early October in the northeastern and central regions and mid-October in the South. In parts of northeastern and central regions, September brought some localized early Deyr precipitation, but there were few impacts on forage and water availability. The full onset of the Deyr was then delayed by one to two weeks to mid-October, according to remote satellite imagery and confirmed by FSNAU field reports. Rainfall has sustained water and rangeland resources in Hawd and some parts of Addun Pastoral and northeastern Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) livelihood zones. In Cowpea Belt Agropastoral livelihood zone, farmers have initiated land preparation and dry planting of rainfed cowpeas in anticipation of the Deyr.
The Deyr rains began a week late in most parts of the South, resulting in cumulative deficits of up to 55 percent of normal rainfall in October (Figure 2). Off-season Gu harvest activities are still ongoing in riverine areas, and late planted recessional crops are still in the vegetative stages and performing well. This has slowed the start of Deyr cropping activities. Off-season Gu production is slightly above the 10-year average due to the combined effects of Gu and Hagaa rainfall, and is estimated at 7,084 MT of maize, 1,020 MT of sorghum and 6,378 MT of sesame (Figure 3). Meanwhile, land preparation and dry planting for Deyr season production have begun in agropastoral south/central regions. These harvest and cultivation activities have restored agricultural labor opportunities and income for riverine and agropastoral poor households to typical levels.
The average to significantly above-average 2018 Gu season proved to have lasting effects on vegetation conditions across the country, further bolstered by a mild Hagaa dry season and the Karan rains (Figure 4). According to field reports, rangeland resources are generally near-average in most northern and central regions and water catchments have been sustained, while above-average conditions are available in most parts of the South, some parts of the Northwest and central regions. However, NIP and northern Coastal Deeh livelihood zones have significant pasture and water depletion due to consecutive seasons of poor and erratic localized rainfall. Water trucking for human and animal consumption is ongoing in parts of Sanaag and Bari and, as a result, prices are above average. In September, a drum of water in Rako village in Bari’s Qardho district was 38 percent above the five-year average at 165,000 SOS. In addition, the delayed onset of the Deyr is leading to some deterioration in vegetation in the South, most notably in Gedo and Southern Rainfed Agropastoral livelihood zone in Lower Shabelle and Middle and Lower Juba regions.
Due to different levels of access to and quality of available rangeland resources, livestock body conditions vary across the country. In the Northwest, livestock body conditions are average to above-average given enhanced resource availability, except in western NIP livelihood zone (Sanaag). In the Northeast and central regions, livestock body conditions are average to below-average. Although livestock health has generally improved, herd sizes in these regions remain below baseline due to the residual effects of the 2016/2017 drought. Further, herds consist primarily of reproductive animals, which households avoid selling in an effort to restore herd sizes. In the South, herds are near baseline levels and body conditions are trending above average, permitting improvements in productivity and sales. Typical levels of communicable livestock diseases with low mortality are present in some northern pastoral areas, and few cases of disease-induced camel abortions have been reported in Wajid district in Bakool region. Since livestock conception and births are typically minimal during the Hagaa dry season, milk yields generally tend to be low to none across the country. However, seasonal levels of camel and cattle milk production have continued in the Juba and Shabelle valleys and Bakool region, facilitated by light to moderate Hagaa rains.
Markets across southern Somalia continue to be well supplied with cereal stocks from Gu production, with off-season harvests beginning to enter the market in September and October. From August to September, retail cereal prices steadily declined in key reference markets in the South. Most prices for locally-produced cereal in September were below the 2017 and five-year averages. In Qoryoley in Lower Shabelle and Baidoa in Bay, white maize and sorghum prices were nearly half of September 2017 prices and 29 to 34 percent lower than the five-year averages, respectively. However, cereal prices are significantly higher in areas with limited local production and in conflict-affected areas where illicit taxation is prevalent. In Belet-Hawa in Gedo region, sorghum was Somali Shilling (SOS) 13,000/kg in September, which is 225 percent higher than neighboring Baidoa, where sorghum was only SOS 4,000/kg.
In the Northwest, locally-produced cereal prices were 13 percent above the five-year average in September, the peak of the lean season. However, prices are 10 percent below the 2017 average for the same period. Although traders anticipate a below-average local Karan harvest in November, some cross-border cereal imports from Ethiopia have contributed to price stability. In contrast, the depreciation of the Somaliland Shilling (SLS) resulted in a 20 to 30 percent increase in the price of imported staple foods compared to 2017 and the five-year average. In the Northeast, the prices of imported sugar, wheat flour, and rice in September were slightly above the 2017 and five-year average, due to adequate supply and a slight depreciation of the local Somali Shilling. For example, rice prices recorded a modest 10 percent increase compared to September 2017 and the five-year average.
In the South, labor-to-cereals terms of trade (ToT) increased from June to September and are now above the September 2017 and five-year average, driven by below-average cereal prices and higher agricultural labor wages during Gu main and off-season production and associated marketing, processing, and transportation activities. As a result, household purchasing power is above average. In Baidoa in Bay, the daily labor wage could buy 25 kg of red sorghum in September, nearly double from 13 kg in 2017. In Jowhar in Middle Shabelle, the daily labor wage could buy 29 kg of white maize in September, up from 18 kg last year. These amounts are sufficient to feed an average family of seven for 10 days. Similar trends have been observed in Middle and Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, and Gedo regions.
Given the mild Hagaa season and ample water and pasture resources in agropastoral areas, many pastoralists opted to migrate livestock away from main markets to grazing areas for fattening, resulting in higher export and local livestock prices. Generally, goat and cattle prices increased from April to September, culminating at prices 15 to 68 percent higher than September 2017 and 30 to 55 higher than the five-year average. Prices reached a seasonal peak in September due to high demand generated by Hajj activities, particularly for export quality livestock. Fewer livestock than usual had the body conditions to be considered export quality, further driving up export prices. As a result, pastoral households’ purchasing power is above average. September goat-to-cereal ToT in central and northern rural areas were comparable to September 2017, but above the five-year average. In Beletweyn in Hiiraan, a local quality goat could be exchanged for 106 kg of white sorghum, up from 62 kg in September 2017. In Burao in Togdheer Region, a goat could be sold to pay for 113 kg of red rice, compared to 78 kg in September 2017.
Protracted insecurity, ongoing conflict, and climatic shocks remain the main drivers of displacement, with conflict in southern and central regions causing loss of life, market and trade disruptions, and restrictions to humanitarian access and normal population movement. New displacement continues to occur among destitute pastoralists who have been unable to recover from the impact of the 2016/17 drought. According to UNHCR, an estimated 158,385 people were displaced between July and September, of which 50 percent originated from Lower Shabelle. More than two-thirds were displaced due to conflict and 23 percent due to drought. Drought-related displacement declined significantly in the third quarter of 2018, with 36,210 people displaced compared to 135,549 during the third quarter of 2017. Total new displacement in 2018 is now estimated at 761,250 people.Secondary displacements through forced evictions are also a major concern in some urban areas in the South (mainly Mogadishu and Baidoa), worsening humanitarian protection risks for IDP populations.
Large-scale humanitarian assistance has been instrumental in preventing worse food security outcomes in many areas, particularly where household assets have been depleted due to the prolonged effects of the 2016/2017 drought. According to the Somalia Food Security Cluster, an average of 2,015,000 beneficiaries were reached monthly between July and September with cash/voucher or in-kind assistance equivalent to between a half and full ration. The majority received cash/voucher assistance. The number of beneficiaries reached in September was the second highest in 2018, with 2.1 million beneficiaries receiving assistance (Figure 5). However, field enumerators observed during the FSNAU Hagaa impact assessment in September that most food assistance was delivered to IDP settlements, rather than rural areas.
SMART surveys conducted in June and July 2018 by FSNAU and partners indicated the prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM), as measured by weight-for-height z-score (WHZ), was within ‘Serious’ (GAM WHZ 10.0-14.9 percent) levels in most southern livelihood zones and East Golis and Addun Pastoral livelihood zones, and it is expected that this has been sustained. It is further expected that GAM levels in northwestern NIP and West Golis Pastoral livelihood zones have deteriorated from ‘Alert’ (GAM WHZ 5.0-9.9 percent) in July 2018 to ‘Serious’ in October, due to lower than typical livestock holdings, reduced access to milk during the Hagaa season, increasing levels of destitution, and seasonal trends in acute malnutrition. ‘Critical’ (GAM WHZ 15.0-29.9 percent) levels were observed in July 2018 in northeastern Hawd Pastoral, northeastern NIP, Guban Pastoral, and riverine livelihood zones in Gedo and Hiiraan. ‘Critical’ levels of acute malnutrition were also observed in June 2018 in IDP camps in Bossaso, Qardho, Garowe and Galkacyo in the Northeast and in Banaadir, Baidoa, and Dolow in the South, and this is expected to be sustained based on historical data trends coupled with limited labour opportunities.
As a result of the above factors, most poor households in southern pastoral areas are sustaining None (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. Poor households have adequate milk for consumption and sales and average levels of livestock to sell to cover their food and non-food needs. In northern and central pastoral areas, most poor households are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with reduced livestock productivity continuing to impact milk consumption and sales. Poor households in NIP livelihood zone are worse off given that herd sizes remain significantly below baseline. With few saleable animals, household income is low, reducing food access. In October, high levels of humanitarian assistance in northwestern NIP prevented food consumption gaps and enabled Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) outcomes. In Guban Pastoral livelihood zone, the combined impacts of recurrent drought and Cyclone Sagar in May 2018 have reduced poor households’ assets to non-sustainable levels. Most poor households do not have sufficient saleable animals to fund food purchases and remain highly dependent on humanitarian assistance, food gifts, and loans. Humanitarian assistance enabled Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) outcomes and will continue to be required to mitigate food consumption gaps and reduce acute malnutrition.
In Northwestern Agropastoral livelihood zone, poor households have limited maize stocks from a below-average Gu harvest and reduced income from livestock and milk sales due to below-baseline herd sizes. Most households have difficulty purchasing adequate food and are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Food security outcomes are not expected to improve until the arrival of the Karan harvest in November. In southern agropastoral areas, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes prevail. Poor households’ cereal stocks from the Gu 2018 harvest have been depleted and they are currently purchase dependent. With access to income from agricultural labor and limited livestock sales and favorable ToT, households can purchase sufficient quantities of food through cash and credit to meet their minimum food needs, but must reduce non-food expenditures. In riverine areas, outcomes have improved to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) since the Gu off-season harvests in September.
The October 2018 to May 2019 most likely scenario is based on the following national-level assumptions:
- According to CPC/IRI consensus forecasts, the most likely ENSO phase from October through December is a weak El Niño. Based on cumulative rainfall deficits to date, below-average total cumulative Deyr rainfall is expected. Ethiopia is expected to receive average rainfall, which poses a low to medium flood risk in riverine areas of Somalia.
- In the event of below-average Deyr rains, the January to March Jilaal dry season is likely to be somewhat harsh in most livelihood zones but especially in the Northeast, which received below-average rainfall during the 2018 Gu.
- Cumulative rainfall during the 2019 Gu long rains (April to June) is likely to be average, tending to below-average over southern Somalia. However, uncertainty exists given the long-term nature of this projection.
- In agropastoral areas, area planted for cash crops and cereals will likely be below average in anticipation of below- average Deyr rainfall. Agropastoral maize and sorghum Deyr production is thus likely to be below average. In riverine areas, main season cereal production is expected to be average, while off-season sesame and maize is likely to be below average to poor.
- In agropastoral areas, agricultural labor demand and wages are expected to be below average through the January Deyr harvest. In riverine areas, agricultural labor demand is likely to be average from October through December. Demand will then be sustained through January due to off-season recessional cultivation.
- Given the 2019 Gu rainfall forecast, area planted for Gu crops in April is expected to be below average. Agricultural labor demand for land preparation, planting, weeding and harvesting is likely to be below normal from March through June.
- Water and rangeland conditions are expected to deteriorate in southern and central regions, while current below-average conditions are likely to be sustained in the Northeast. During the Jilaal dry season, rangeland resources will seasonally decline and body conditions of livestock that are lactating or recently conceived will deteriorate. As a result, livestock body conditions are likely to be normal in the Northwest but seasonally deteriorate elsewhere through April.
- Livestock migration is expected to be mostly normal in most pastoral and agropastoral areas of the country and this is expected to moderate the impact of below-average Deyr rainfall.
- A medium rate of calving, kidding, and lambing is expected in October and November in both pastoral and agropastoral areas in the South. However, in central and northern livelihood zones, low to medium camel calving is expected in November/December. Medium goats and sheep conception rates and low to medium camel and cattle conception rates are likely in October-December, resulting in medium goat and sheep livestock births in April to May 2019.
- Milk availability will seasonally increase through January in the South, except in riverine areas since livestock migrate away to wet-season grazing areas. Overall milk production in the central and northern regions will likely remain below average due to below average rangeland conditions and lower than normal milking livestock availability as herd sizes remain significantly below the baseline.
- Livestock prices are expected to follow seasonal trends but remain slightly above average in northern and central regions due to below-average supply and stable demand for domestic consumption and restocking. In the south, livestock prices are expected to be stable and sustain average levels due to relatively normal supply and improved conditions.
- In the Northwest, local cereal prices are expected to remain above the five-year average until the Karan harvest in November alleviates cereal scarcity in markets. Prices will trend average following the harvest.
- Locally produced maize and sorghum prices in southern Somalia will likely seasonally increase during the agricultural lean (October-December) season as Gu stocks dwindle and farmers increase market food purchases. In January to March, staple food prices will likely decline as the Deyr harvest in agropastoral areas gradually enters the market. However, based on FEWS NET’s Baidoa and Qoryoley market analysis, sorghum and maize prices are expected to remain below the 2017 and five-year average through May 2019.
- Consistent with seasonal trends, food and diesel imports are likely to increase following the end of the south-westerly Indian Ocean summer monsoon season tide in September. The prices of imported rice, wheat flour, vegetable oil, sugar, and diesel are expected to remain stable but high in local currency terms due to depreciation of both the Somali and Somaliland shilling and increasing fuel prices.
- Goats-to-cereal ToT is expected to remain above average through November in many central and northeastern reference markets, driven by above-average livestock prices. In the Northwest, ToT are expected to be near average through May. Based on FEWS NET’s market analysis in Baidoa and Qoryoley, labor-to-cereal ToT is likely to follow seasonal trends and be near average through January due to stable agricultural wages and below-average to average cereal prices. Labor-to-cereal ToT will then likely fall to slightly below the five-year average in March to May with seasonal cereal price increases.
- Funding levels for humanitarian assistance during the projection period could not be confirmed. Therefore, this scenario assumes an absence of assistance through May 2019.
- Clashes between the government forces supported by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Al Shabaab insurgents are likely to continue to impede trade and population movements, agricultural activities, and humanitarian access and cause population displacement and loss of life and assets.
- Some drought displaced people from rural areas in Bay, Bakool, Middle and Lower Juba, and Middle and Lower Shabelle are likely to split their households and send some members back to their livelihood zones to cultivate land through May 2019, despite the below-average Deyr forecast. Destitute pastoralists are expected to remain in displacement camps for another season until their remaining livestock, currently with kinship, return to sustainable levels. Conflict-related displacement through May 2019 is expected to continue. The net number of IDPs is expected to remain similar to the current total of 2.6 million.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes
From October to January, Guban Pastoral livelihood zone would likely be in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and northwestern Northern Inland Pastoral (NIP) in Sool and Sanaag regions would likely be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the absence of continued humanitarian assistance. It is assumed NIP Northwest has deteriorated to ‘Serious’ (GAM -WHZ 10-14.9%) malnutrition since the post-Gu, and is likely to sustain ‘Serious’ levels. Guban is likely to deteriorate within current ‘Critical’ levels (GAM -WHZ 15-29.9%). Herd sizes remain significantly below baseline, causing an income deficit from livestock and livestock product sales. As a result, poor households’ food purchases will be insufficient, and they are likely to face large food consumption gaps. These outcomes are expected to continue in the February to May period as well, with significant improvements expected towards the end of the Gu 2019 season in late May/June when more livestock give birth. In NIP, food access will begin to improve in May when camel milk gifts from better-off households become available, and low-medium goat and sheep births by May will permit increased livestock and milk sales. In Guban, livestock body conditions will likely improve between January and March due to improved pasture and water access from Xeys rainfall and five to six goat births are likely by May; no camel births are expected among poor households. Livestock herd sizes are expected to be 34-44 percent of normal in northwestern NIP and 38-40 percent of normal in Guban, still far below baseline levels but permitting some livestock and milk sales for food purchases and debt repayment.
Most other northern and central pastoral areas are likely to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January, as they suffered fewer losses in the 2016/2017 drought. Increased milk availability and a medium to low level of livestock births during the Deyr will generally improve food security outcomes slightly. However, Addun Pastoral, northeastern NIP and Coastal Deeh Pastoral and Fishing livelihoods are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between February and May due to existing income deficits from livestock and product sales, increased expenditures on water trucking, and expected debt repayment. As a result, most poor households are expected to face food consumption gaps without accelerated depletion of livestock assets. In the South, Southern Inland and Juba Cattle Pastoral livelihood zones are likely to sustain Minimal (IPC Phase 1), given near-baseline herd sizes and further improvements in livestock production and body conditions in the Deyr. Most pastoral populations are likely to maintain or slightly deteriorate from current nutrition outcomes.
In Northwestern and Togdheer Agropastoral livelihood zones, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected by November and will be sustained through May. In Togdheer Agropastoral, access to agricultural labor and sales of fodder crops will enable most poor households to meet their minimum food needs starting in October. In Northwestern Agropastoral, the completion of the Karan harvest in November will provide poor households with at least two months of food stocks and the ability to earn income through crop and fodder sales. Late planted maize/sorghum crop is likely to be non-productive and will be sold as a fodder. Agricultural labor opportunities will become available again in late March/April with the start of the Gu season.
In southern rainfed agropastoral areas, most poor households are expected to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) throughout the projection period, although some poor households in Bay Bakool Low Potential Agropastoral livelihood zone may fall into Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Overall, limited Gu carryover stocks and one-to-two months of cereals harvested during the Deyr, combined with below-average agricultural labor income, favorable ToT, and medium to high shoat and cattle births – enhancing milk consumption and sales – will enable most households to meet their minimum food needs. Livestock herd sizes will continue to increase, remaining below baseline levels in many areas but increasing to near-baseline levels in Southern Agropastoral livelihood zone in Bakool and Middle and Lower Juba and Sorghum High Potential Agropastoral in Middle and Lower Shabelle. However, typical livestock disease outbreaks and deaths from harmful insect bites are likely during October-December rainy season. Rainfall may increase water-borne disease prevalence, and seasonal deterioration within ‘Serious’ levels (GAM WHZ 10-14.9%) in malnutrition is expected during the February to May lean period.
Food security in Riverine Pump Irrigation and Riverine Gravity Irrigation livelihood zones will improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) as a result of moderate flood-recession cultivation and available river irrigation, given below-average Deyr rainfall in southern Somalia and average Deyr rainfall in the upper catchments of the Shabelle and Juba Rivers in southeastern Ethiopia. The low to medium risk of flooding should permit normal planting activities and modest agriculture labor income. From February to May, food security outcomes are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) with the availability of stocks, and local cereal prices will seasonally decline as cereals from agropastoral areas also enter the riverine markets. However, due to chronic factors contributing to acute malnutrition, ‘Critical’ level of acute malnutrition (GAM WHZ 15-29.9%) is likely to be sustained through May 2019.
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About Scenario Development
To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.
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