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27 May 2011

Africa Update #31: Rains start Pulling out of GHA, insuffient in West

Northeast Kenya never received rain, and most of the rest of the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) are not fairing much better. Meanwhile in west Africa, eastern parts of the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea have been deteriorating since the  wet season began. In north Africa, moderate rainfall may be complicating the NATO mission and the civil war in Libya, as seasonal rains continue in other parts of the Maghreb.

The season in the east has been lost. The rains have utterly failed in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Almost all areas had an insufficient amount of precipitation, but in parts of northeastern Kenya there wasn't even a drizzle. The drought has devastated crops, reduced pasture for livestock (although there has been some improvement in pasture lately), and left the region with insufficient drinking water. This disaster will be much worse if the October - December rains, the next chance for significant moisture, fail. In northern Ethiopia, near Lake Tana, things are looking much better. The rains here have progressed closer to normal, and over the last month have stabilized. This will not improve drought ravaged parts of the country, in say Oromia, Somalia or SSNP Regions.

Parts of west Africa have had an unimpressive start to its season. Eastern parts of the Gulf of Guinea and Sahel are not receiving enough precipitation for crops. This rainfall deficit pales in comparison to what is happening in the GHA, but Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria all could use more precipitation, however there is still plenty of time for improvement. From Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin and points westward, the season is off to a great start, but the season is long and these areas have a ways to go.

In north Africa, rains continue to look great across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Light to moderate rains fell in Libya, possibly complicating the NATO mission and the civil war. Much of the rain fell near where the military front currently is, east of Brega.

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