5.9.3 - Drought Monitoring

SEVERE DROUGHT OVER EAST AFRICA

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)