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Boost for farmers as IGAD predicts early rains over Horn of Africa

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: February 23, 2024

Rainy day. (Courtesy/ICPAC).

The IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) has predicted a higher probability of early wetter-than-normal conditions across most parts of the Greater Horn of Africa from March to May 2024.

ICPAC said in a press statement the countries expected to experience wetter conditions are Kenya, Somalia, southern Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and north-western Tanzania.

The scientific center said the highest probabilities for wetter than usual conditions are indicated in central to western Kenya and in the cross-border areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.

It said the expected enhanced rainfall in several parts of the region is likely to “positively impact agriculture, water resources, and overall livelihoods.”

“Due to the increased rainfall recorded in the October to December 2023 period, along with the forecast of wetter-than-normal conditions from March to May, there is an elevated risk of flooding in areas prone to floods,” noted ICPAC director Dr. Guleid Artan.

Dr. Artan said the forecast raises the urgent need for coordinated action and preparedness, as he emphasizes proactive measures to mitigate potential impacts and capitalize on the opportunities presented by the forecast rainfall.

“Let us unite in our commitment to leveraging climate information for resilient and sustainable development across our region.”

“While the food security situation may improve with wetter than usual conditions, it is important to remember the multiple challenges faced by the region, including the historic 2020-2022 drought, conflict in various parts of the region such as Sudan, and the El Nino-induced floods at the end of 2023,” he added.

“This has weakened communities’ coping capacity, making them highly susceptible to food insecurity. The likelihood of flooding during the 2024 MAM season in parts of the region could, lead to a deterioration in food security in localized areas.”

Further, ICPAC said temperature forecast indicates an increased likelihood of warmer than normal surface temperatures over the entire region.

Probabilities for warmer than normal temperatures are most enhanced over Sudan, northern South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and southern parts of Tanzania, it said.

In line with the World Meteorological Organization’s guidelines and recommendations, ICPAC has adopted an objective seasonal forecast method to generate climate forecasts for the Greater Horn of Africa.

February 2024 initialized seasonal forecasts from nine Global Producing Centres (GPCs) were utilized and processed using three calibration techniques to develop the MAM 2024 seasonal climate outlook.

 

 

 

 

 

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