Compounding impacts of crippling drought

Besides the impact on livestock, the current drought conditions have caused alerts to be issued to humanitarian organisations in terms of food shortages.

10 April 2019 | Disasters

Rainfall during southern Africa's 2018/19 wet season started nearly a month late and was characterised by extended dry spells between January and March, and concluded with historically low rainfall totals in many parts of the region.

According to the Southern Africa Food Security Alert for April areas of Botswana, northern Zimbabwe, eastern Namibia, southern Angola, and surplus-producing areas of northern South Africa and southern Zambia registered a D3 (extreme) or D4 (exceptional) drought.

The report says that livestock conditions and agricultural labour opportunities have also been negatively affected by the poor 2018/19 seasonal performance.

Pasture conditions and water availability for livestock are below average in many areas, including parts of Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Botswana, where drought-related livestock diseases and deaths have already been reported. According to the report, livestock body conditions are unlikely to improve in drought-affected areas until the start of the 2019/20 rainy season, driving lower livestock prices through much of 2019, and atypically high livestock deaths are possible. It says that overall, poor households are expected to have below-average income through to at least late 2019 when agricultural labour for the 2019/20 season will be available and the next rainy season drives livestock improvements.

As a result, atypically high levels of acute food insecurity are anticipated across the region, with the highest concern in Zimbabwe, central and southern Mozambique, southern Zambia, and parts of Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Angola.

Additionally, it is anticipated that the 2019/20 lean season will start atypically early in August and needs will be highest at the peak of the lean season in early 2020.

The report says that humanitarian actors and national governments should plan for higher than normal food assistance and livelihood support needs through to at least early 2020.

Despite expected below-average 2019 maize production, it is expected that regional maize supply during the 2019/20 marketing year will still be average due largely to carryover stocks from last year's bumper harvest in South Africa.

Currently, maize grain prices are trending near or slightly above the five-year average across the region and this trend is expected to continue in most areas, and prices are not anticipated to reach the high levels observed in 2016.

However, maize prices are expected to be well above average in drought-affected areas with localised supply deficits in flood-affected areas of Mozambique, and in Zimbabwe, where both drought and macroeconomic issues are of concern.

The report says that should Tanzania and Zambia restrict grain exports to structurally-deficit neighbouring countries in an effort to protect their domestic supplies, maize grain availability will be lower than normal in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Haut Katanga province, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.





ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Thousands go hungry

2 days ago - 12 November 2019 | Disasters

ILENI NANDJATO Following the deaths of three children from malnutrition at Amarika in the Omusati Region during the past three months, an investigation by Namibian...

Food insecurity a 'pressing problem'

1 week ago - 04 November 2019 | Disasters

Agriculture and food security are the most vulnerable and climate-sensitive sectors in Namibia, with food insecurity also remaining one of the most pressing problems facing...

Nam dagga trafficking smoked in SA

3 weeks ago - 18 October 2019 | Disasters

More than N$5 million worth of dagga that was headed for Namibia was confiscated by the South African Police this week. Four suspects arrested...

Namibia's 'wasted' children

3 weeks ago - 18 October 2019 | Disasters

The latest State of the World's Children Report says at least one in three children under five suffer from malnutrition in its more visible forms:...

'Serious' hunger levels in Namibia

4 weeks ago - 17 October 2019 | Disasters

Faced with one of the worst droughts in a century, Namibia has a serious hunger problem, a global report tracking the state of hunger worldwide...

Focus on recovery after drought

4 weeks ago - 16 October 2019 | Disasters

The recovery from the drought that the country is currently facing was the main focus point at three large conferences held last week to discuss...

Over 60 000 livestock died of starvation

1 month - 04 October 2019 | Disasters

More than 60 000 livestock have succumbed to famine this year, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb has said.!Naruseb announced the figure during a consultative meeting Prime...

Third of Namibians on drought aid

1 month - 03 October 2019 | Disasters

More than a third of the Namibian population is dependent on drought relief, which has prompted government to extend the state of emergency to March...

Hardap is running dry

1 month - 01 October 2019 | Disasters

Farmers in the Hardap Region have decided to cut back irrigation by 40% to save water in the Hardap Dam, which is now reaching crisis...

Call on govt to transport fodder

1 month - 30 September 2019 | Disasters

Despite various efforts by the government to assist livestock farmers with animal fodder as part of drought relief assistance, some farmers in the Kunene Region...

Latest News

Namcor ready to run fuel...

2 hours ago | Business

The Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) expects to take delivery of the strategic fuel storage facility next month, a company official has told Namibian Sun....

How the 'sharks' were netted

2 hours ago | Fishing

An international scandal has erupted with an exposé of more than 30 000 documents released by WikiLeaks which show that an Icelandic fishing company, SAMHERJI,...

NSFAF explains payment woes

2 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has blamed the delayed payment of non-tuition fees to students on the unavailability of funds and its internal...

Hospital ­denies Itula ­allegation

2 hours ago | Health

The regional directorate of health for Ohangwena has denied an allegation by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula that a patient at Eenhana district hospital had...

Devil's claw under threat

2 hours ago | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

More dark days ahead

2 hours ago | Sports

The Fifa normalisation committee says it still has to consult its lawyers before making a decision on the way forward for the Namibia Premier League...

Mining tourney hailed as a...

2 hours ago | Sports

A three-day tournament that featured different mining employees from across the country, which took place at Otjiwarongo from Friday to Sunday, has been described as...

They have to go, says...

16 hours ago | Crime

Staff ReporterHighly placed sources indicated this morning that President Hage Geingob is planning to jettison justice minister Sacky Shanghala and fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau from...

Namibian arrested in Malaysia for...

1 day - 13 November 2019 | Crime

A 26-year-old Namibian man has been arrested in Malaysia on suspicion of strangling and dismembering his Nigerian girlfriend. The man was arrested on Saturday in...

Load More