5.9.3 - Drought Monitoring


In 2009, the long rainy season over East Africa did not start until late March and produced insubstantial rain, resulting in severe drought. As a consequence, at the end of the first rainy season (March to June) of 2009, satellite observations revealed that plant growth - both crops and natural vegetation - across Kenya was significantly lower than normal (earthobservatory.nasa.gov). This is quite evident when we compare a LSA SAF LAI image from September 2009 with the same day from 2007 (please hit the play button to see the animation):

You might have noticed that this case was already presented in chapter 4.5, where the production decrease in Kenya, as a consequence of the severe drought in 2009 was shown with a MODIS NDVI composite of 16 days. Here, we can see the same effect just by comparing 2 daily images, since due to the temporal resolution of MSG satellite, LSA SAF products show very high spatial and temporal continuity.

This severe drought affected 10 million people, a third of the population. As a consequence the government declared a state of national emergency.( Reuters)