Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum Issues Rainfall Warning
29 February 2012: The 30th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF 30) concluded with a warning that the Greater Horn of Africa, parts of which have suffered badly from drought in recent years, could suffer below normal rainfall during the March-May rainy season.
The Forum took place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 27-29 February 2012, and brought together national experts from the region, as well as regional and international experts. The event was organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), and sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
According to experts involved in climate prediction in the region, there is a 45% probability of below normal rainfall over parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti during the rainy season. Some of these areas were severely affected by drought in 2010 and 2011. Speaking at the Forum, Youcef Ait-Chellouche, Deputy Regional Coordinator of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), stated that "this is not good news for farmers in areas which have been affected by agricultural drought in recent years." He stressed the need to plan for the probability of erratic rainfall and its impacts on food security.
Participants also considered what could be done differently to help reduce the impacts of future droughts and other climate extremes in the region. The Greater Horn of Africa region comprises Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. [WMO Press Release] [UN/ISDR Press Release] [UN Press Release]