In-season decision making
Interview with Mohamed RIRash
Mr. RiRash is a Concern Worldwide agronomist and Farmer-Programme field officer, who works directly with staff in Somalia. He's in charge of the Afgoye and Gedo region, especially focusing on farmer field schools. He observes on ground conditions, communicates on ground situation to the team in Nairobi and suggests an action. The interview was conducted on the 12th December 2017 and is summarised here in brief, focusing on the Afgoye and Belet Hawa regions.
Q. If you are a pastoralist, why has it been a good season? What type of rainfall results in a ‘good’ season?
- Duration of the rain - for how many days.
- Distribution of the rains.
- Intensity of the rain.
- If the rain is bad or good, they look at the migration of the wild animals and birds. if they see wild birds moving away which means the rains are bad.
- Wind direction change
Q. How much water do you need to alleviate water stress?
- 60-70 mms
Q. For agro pastoralists, what's a good season?
- He does not use a different process.
- He does look at regional distribution of the rail
- River level
Q. What does good rain mean in this context?
If the entire region receives equal amount of rain. 2. the coverage of rain that is normal. 3. river water is used as a metric to define if rains are good or bad. high river levels mean rains were good.
Q. How much rain is needed to say the rainy season has ‘started’.
Light amounts can mean the inception of the rain. Say, 20 mm, it's not bringing that much more water, but the first rains most of the rain are captured by the dry soil (it is dry because it is the end of the dry season). For different crops, different amount of rains are needed.
Q. How much rainfall is needed to saturate the soil and start to 'fill the catchment'?
Depends on the soil, but at least 20-24 mm of rain
Q. How much would it need to rain for Dustin to call the water truck and tell them not to come?
Depends on the soil type, but maybe 60 mm right away or 50mm after the initial saturation, the catchment may fill up.
Q. What do you mean by climate is still the dry season?
The wind has not blown in the other direction yet. And there are still clouds in the sky, but there is no rain.
Q. How do you know if the total amount of rain is normal or not?
If we receive 300mm, we have had good rains.
Q. How do the people assess if there is good or bad rains?
Some people in the community are familiar with the good or bad rains. The people look at the sky and the stars and the winds.
Q. What is the performance of the Deyr rains in Afgoye
- The number of days were not good.
- The first week of Nov they received good rain - 64mm.
- 24 November there was good rain which led the farmers to stop the irrigation of river water.