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East Africa Flood Scenarios 2020

South Sudan
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• After a drier than average period across East Africa until mid 2019, conditions turned sharply to much wetter than average weather. Across vast areas of the region, the last nine months have been the wettest ever in the near 40 year data record. The most affected areas include the South Sudan – Ethiopia borders, Lake Victoria and western-central Kenya and SE Ethiopia and northern Somalia.

• Sustained, extreme rains have resulted in floods and landslides across Kenya and Uganda since mid 2019 to now and additional flooding in SE Ethiopia and Somalia both during the Short Rains of late 2019 and the current Long Rains season. In South Sudan, huge increases in wetland extent led to localised famine events while flooding of dry season pastures led to massive inter-communal fighting that is still on-going. In Uganda, Lake Victoria hit record height levels leading to floods and destruction of livelihood infra-structures.

• Latest seasonal forecasts from a wide variety of sources unanimously indicate a continuation of much wetter than average conditions until September 2020, in particular for a region extending from NW Kenya to western Ethiopia and eastern South Sudan.

• Expected consequences include: a continuation of flooding and landslides in western Kenya and Karamoja; additional flooding in eastern South Sudan, possibly leading to acute food insecurity and further intercommunal fighting later in the year; heavy rains along the Blue Nile catchment and increased White Nile flows may lead to flooding along both rivers within Sudan.