Society of African Journal Editors

Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management

Rainfall trends and variability in selected areas of Ethiopian Somali Regional State, Southeastern Ethiopia

Authors: Solomon Tekalign

Journal: Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management

The pastoral and agropastoral communities are among the most vulnerable to climate changes and variability. The adverse effect of such variability and change is accelerating the already existing pastoral livelihood insecurity. Given the range of negative repercussions of current climate hazards on the livelihoods of these communities, the implications of climate change must be taken into account to ensure their longer-term survival and sustainability. The paper reports on the rainfall variability and trends in the Ethiopian Somali Regional State by taking three major meteorological records from Gode, Jigjiga and Shinile that recorded in the last two decades (1997-2015). Mean annual rainfall distribution, trend, class interval of raindays versus amount of rainfall, number of raindays, annual rainfall, and dry and wet years are considered using probability of wet and dry days, mean, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, deviations from mean and trendline regression analyses with the help of SPSS 16.0 and Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Software. Accordingly, it is identified that there are remarkable changes: both number of raindays and annual amount of rainfall received increased from Gode (103days and 1365.6mm) to Jigjiga {185days and 1565.1mm) and latter falls towards Shinile (135days and 1274.2mm) respectively. Eleven to twelve out of eighteen years (i.e. 60% to 70% of the years) rainfall records were close to normal. Thus, proper water harvesting technology, including efficient underground water resource exploration systems, better devised to sustain life and livelihood of the pastoral and agropastoral community in the region. Moreover, proper spatial distribution of meteorological stations together with early warning system are required to further support local adaptive and coping strategies that the community designed towards rainfall variability in particular and climate change/disaster and risk at large.  Keywords: Ethiopian Somali Region, Gode, Jigjiga, Rainfall variability, Shinile, Trend