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

 

39% of Namibians hungry

4 days ago - 15 August 2019 | Disasters

A shocking 39% of Namibians were severely food insecure by 2018, while 821.6 million people worldwide did not have enough food to eat, as hunger...

Lifeline for stranded Chobe hippos

4 days ago - 15 August 2019 | Disasters

An emergency borehole has successfully been drilled to pump water into a Chobe River pond, where about 68 hippos are stranded in the drying river....

Not out of the woods yet

6 days ago - 13 August 2019 | Disasters

Recovery after the current drought, which has been declared a national disaster, is the biggest challenge the agriculture sector will face for the next three...

Engen fuels N$1m drought relief

1 week ago - 09 August 2019 | Disasters

Engen has handed over N$1 million to the Dare to Care Fund to support Namibia's farmers who have been ravaged by a seven-year drought. The...

Drought relief goes to the needy

2 weeks ago - 02 August 2019 | Disasters

The Omusati regional councillor for the Oshikuku constituency, Modestus Amutse, has dismissed allegations that drought-relief food is only given to Swapo members in his constituency....

Ehehelo lyoopresenda mbali lya lundululwa

3 weeks ago - 23 July 2019 | Disasters

Etseyitho lyoshigwana ndyoka lya shainwa kuamushanga gwokabinete kaNamibia, George Simataa, lya shangwa mEtine lyoshiwike sha piti, olya pula AaNamibia ayehe mboka haya mono iiyemo opo...

Renewed plea for 2% donation

4 weeks ago - 22 July 2019 | Disasters

A public notice signed by cabinet secretary George Simataa, dated Thursday last week, makes a “humble appeal to all Namibians to donate up to 2%...

Kavango East struggling to deliver food aid

4 weeks ago - 22 July 2019 | Disasters

The Kavango East regional council is facing challenges with the distribution of drought relief food, its acting chief regional officer Ambossius Makongwa has said.Last week...

PPP could boost water security

1 month - 19 July 2019 | Disasters

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) present one solution to Namibia's critical water supply challenges, which among several steep hurdles, is dogged by significant funding shortfalls.A roundtable discussion...

Dam levels dismal

1 month - 16 July 2019 | Disasters

It appears that the only town in Namibia which is safe from water restrictions is Keetmanshoop. The latest dam bulletin, released by NamWater...

Latest News

Corpses rot in homes

9 hours ago | Health

Unregistered deaths, including infant mortalities, and corpses being left to rot in homes over weekends, are just some of the challenges being faced by the...

Young mom hacked to death

9 hours ago | Crime

A 23-year-old woman was brutally murdered this past Friday in Kavango West, allegedly by her long-time boyfriend, who hacked her to death with an axe...

It was tough - Tomas

9 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI Namibian long-distance runners Rainhold Tomas and Alina Armas are the winners of the 19th edition of the Old Mutual Victory Race in the...

Dying for a home

9 hours ago | Opinion

Many Namibians have, and still will, die before they ever have the chance to own a home. Studies have put the housing backlog as high...

Stars revamp coaching staff

9 hours ago | Sports

African Stars have announced the appointment of Mervin Mbakera as the assistant coach to Mohamed Gargo, in place of Andrew Tjahikika.According to a media release,...

The circus continues

9 hours ago | Sports

Limba MupetamiThe Namibia Premier League (NPL) is a circus. I'm sure everyone knows that by now. Firstly, we are forced to go and watch football...

Cheetahs edge Pumas in Nelspruit...

9 hours ago | Sports

The Cheetahs overturned a halftime deficit to win 43-37 against the Pumas in their Currie Cup match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday....

Boxers hyped for the African...

9 hours ago | Sports

The eight amateur boxers selected to represent Namibia at the 2019 African Games in Morocco are looking forward to bringing silverware back home when the...

SA athletes prepare for 50km...

9 hours ago | Sports

The 12-member SA team have entered the final stages of preparation for the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 50km world championships in Brasov, Romania, as...

Load More