Seasonal Monitor

January rainfall improves harvest prospects in Burundi and Rwanda

February 7, 2018

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
National Parks/Reserves
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.IPC phase classifications for concentrations of displaced people are included in Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda country maps.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.
Partners: 
USGS

Key Messages

  • Tanzania continued to receive well above-average rainfall in January, resulting in favorable agricultural conditions across the country. Burundi, eastern Rwanda, and localized areas of eastern DRC also received above-average rains during this period, improving harvest prospects following dry spells during the Season A (October to December) rains.

  • Overall, January has been hotter and drier-than-normal for much of the Horn of Africa, following an early cessation of seasonal rains around mid-December. This is likely to result in further deterioration of pasture and water resources, most notably in pastoral and marginal agricultural areas of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and Kenya. 

  • During the next two weeks, seasonal dryness and hotter-than-normal conditions are forecast to continue in the Horn of Africa, while seasonal rainfall is expected to begin to decline in Tanzania.  

Seasonal Progress

During the month of January, rainfall over Tanzania continued to be well above average by as much as 50 to 300 mm (Figure 1). Eastern Rwanda and Burundi benefitted from above-average rainfall in January, improving harvest prospects following below-average Season A (October-December) rainfall performance. During this time, southwestern Ethiopia, central and southern Uganda, and much of southern Kenya observed significant rainfall deficits of between -25 to -100 mm.

The poor performance and earlier-than-normal cessation of the short-rains (October to December) season, coupled with a hotter-than-normal dry season in January, have negatively impacted vegetation conditions across much of Somalia and Kenya, southern Ethiopia, and parts of northeastern Tanzania, as indicated by NDVI (Figure 2). Much of Uganda is also showing a very rapid deterioration in vegetation conditions in response to below-average rainfall performance.

The following is a country-by-country update on recent seasonal progress to date:

  • Tanzania continued to receive above-average rainfall in January, further contributing to overall favorable Vuli and Msimu rains in 2017/18. Cropping and vegetation conditions have responded well and crop production prospects are favorable. 
  • In Burundi, eastern Rwanda, and localized areas of southeastern DRC, January rains were above average. This has helped ease the Season A rainfall deficits, particularly in December, and remained beneficial for both crop and rangeland conditions. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast to continue into mid-February, according to the short-term GFS rainfall outlooks.

  • In January, southwestern Ethiopia, central and southern Uganda, and much of southern Kenya observed significant rainfall deficits of between -25 to -100 mm. In Kenya, except for parts of Turkana and Marsabit counties, the rest of the pastoral regions of northern, eastern, and southern Kenya showed poor vegetation conditions. 

Forecast

The persistent above-average seasonal rains over much of Tanzania are likely to begin to subside in the coming weeks, with moderate to heavy rains (20 to 200 mm) forecast over much of western Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, and parts of southeastern DRC (Figure 3). Meanwhile, the same short-term (1-2 weeks) forecast is also indicative of continued dry seasonal conditions across much of the rest of East Africa. 

About this Report

The seasonal monitor, produced by the FEWS NET USGS regional scientist and FEWS NET Regional Technical Manager, updates rainfall totals, the impact on production, and the short-term forecast. It is produced every 20 days during the production season. Find more remote sensing information here.

 

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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