Capitalize on rains, Somaliland urged

After predictions by meteorologists that the region was likely to receive substantial rain between October and December, officials in Somalia's secessionist region of Somaliland have urged farmers and pastoralists to prepare to make maximum use of the rains.

The meteorological department has forecast that most of Somaliland will experience "near normal" to "above normal" rains in the coming Deyr (short rains) season.

"The oncoming rains will come as a relief and an indication of an end to drought in the affected areas," according to a climate outlook report by Somalia's Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM). "The expected rainfall, with timely onset over most agricultural areas of the country, would be adequate for good crop performance. Farmers can also expect an extended length of the growing period."

Ahmed Qofal Jama, the Adadlay district representative of the ministry of agriculture, said: "Whenever heavy rains are received in southeast Asia and India, the rains cross the Indian Ocean to the Horn of Africa and we therefore expect good rains, which are handy after the poor performance of the last several rainy seasons that caused serious livelihood crises to both pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. We are encouraging farmers to make full use of the expected rains."