The current rainfall season has been the driest in the last 35 years across several parts of the Southern Africa Region. Two consecutive below-average rainy seasons have significantly impacted crop and livestock production, cereal prices, water availability, and livelihoods.
Food and nutrition security in the region also remains extremely fragile, with the situation expected to worsen. Overall, 28 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.
Cape Town – Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana says the department has allocated R381 million towards drought relief following the reprioritisation of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) and Ilima/Letsema funds.
With the effects of climate change having had a devastating effect on the sector, the Minister said the department would lead the implementation of the agricultural mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure that the sector copes with climate change effects.
21 AVRIL 2016 | GENÈVE – Lors de la Semaine mondiale de la vaccination 2016, organisée du 24 au 30 avril, l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) met en lumière certaines avancées récentes dans la couverture vaccinale et décrit de nouvelles mesures que les pays peuvent prendre pour _« Combler les lacunes en matière de vaccination »_ et atteindre les cibles mondiales fixées pour 2020.
By Justice Lucy Asuagbor, Commissioner, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa
THE MAPUTO PROTOCOL
Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs has introduced a new application system at its Marabastad centre in Pretoria, to ease the process for foreign nationals applying for permits and asylum documents.
Introduced at the end of January, the newly introduced box system has brought some relief to foreign nationals as they no longer have to stand in long queues to get their documents processed. It has also put a halt on corrupt activities.
Pretoria - The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will conduct an operation to test water in Senekal, in the Free State.
The department said the operation, which will run from 12 to 15 April, will test water tankers that supply the community with water for any hazardous substances or bacteria. The tests will be done with assistance from the University of the Free State.
Pretoria – The community of eMadungeni, iXopo, will soon have access to water, thanks to the three new boreholes.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Cyril Xaba, officially launched the three boreholes to alleviate the scourge of drought in the province. The three boreholes, equipped with diesel engines, were unveiled on Tuesday at Sigubudwini, Sidwadweni and Khuluma Primary School.
Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has committed all spheres of government to provide extra support to areas hard-hit by drought.
The President was responding to a series of concerns raised by the members of the community of the uThungulu District Municipality and surrounding areas, in KwaZulu-Natal, during a Presidential Imbizo, on Sunday.
The community informed him that it was experiencing difficulties with regard to delivery of water services as a result of the drought which has affected the area and other communities across the country.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Maize production in 2016 forecast to fall steeply from previous year’s below‑average output, on account of El Niño‑related drought conditions
Tight maize supplies instigated increased imports of maize in 2015/16, with further rises expected in 2016/17
Maize prices declined from record highs, but remain at elevated levels
Maize production forecast to decline steeply in 2016 for second consecutive year
New report from MSF finds that despite TB now being the leading infectious disease killer worldwide, access to the most effective drugs remains shockingly low – only 2% of people who should have access to the latest drugs get access to them.
A key reason for this is price. We think the price of a six month delamanid treatment course could feasibly, and should, be sold for up to 98% less than the current lowest global price.
Today, South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day, commemorating the 1960 shooting of police upon peaceful protestors, which killed 69 people. This year, reflecting on the role of police in relation to human rights seems more relevant than ever given that the African Union (AU) dedicated 2016 to human rights, with a specific focus on the rights of women.
As South Africans reflect on the events of 1960, it would be useful to consider the broader responsibility of police in Africa.
Donors and Southern African governments must act swiftly, collaboratively, and generously in responding to the South African Development Community’s (SADC) announcement of a regional drought emergency triggered by El Nino, warn Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE.
In a statement this week, SADC Council has approved a ‘Declaration of the Regional Drought Disaster’. Approximately 28-30 million people in Southern Africa now face severe levels of hunger and food insecurity. If no action is taken, that number could rise quickly to 49 million.
Cape Town – The Department of Water and Sanitation says the country’s latest dam levels remain low despite the sporadic rainfalls and isolated thunderstorms experienced in some parts of the country last week.
Trevor Balzer, a Deputy Director General at the department, said this when he briefed the Portfolio Committee tasked with overseeing the departments that are collaborating in dealing with drought relief efforts.
Cape Town – The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says just over 42 000 farmers have been assisted with drought relief measures in areas that were impacted by water shortages.
Maphaka Tau, the Deputy Director General of Forestry and Natural Resources Management at the department, said this when he briefed the joint Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Environmental Affairs, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Human Settlements at the Good Hope Chamber in Parliament, on Wednesday.
Pretoria – Smallholder farmers affected by the drought in Tshwane, have received a helping hand from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to sustain their farms.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele visited Hammanskraal, Stinkwater and Winterveldt on Monday to hand over a borehole, animal feed and garden equipment to help residents start up community gardens.
Deputy Minister Cele’s visit is part of an ongoing stakeholder engagement forum and follow up visit to areas affected by the drought.
Below average precipitation and drought have raged since last year on the SADC region, the outlook for the remaining months of the current season indicated below average precipitation very likely over most of the eastern part of the region including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, easternmost of Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and the center of Madagascar. The drought situation and related consequences will persist during the coming months.
Cape Town – Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti says government’s response to the drought now exceeds R1 billion.
The Minister on Tuesday chaired the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development Cluster media briefing at the Imbizo Centre, in Cape Town. The briefing was aimed at providing a progress report on the implementation of the Nine Point Plan following President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last month.
HARARE—Zimbabwe is one of four southern African countries rolling out free HIV self-testing kits this month.
Experts say making it easier for people to find out their status will curb the spread of HIV, but others worry that testing without adequate counseling and treatment options will have little impact.
Despite the concerns, Zimbabwe is optimistic that self-testing kits can help it prevent new HIV infections.
Actions will require more political will and investments for food security and nutrition
1-2 March 2016, Accra - A two-day strategic workshop on FAO’s contribution to Africa’s 2025 Zero Hunger Challenge held in Accra, Ghana, expressed determination to strengthen partnerships and support regional institutions and member countries in accomplishing the commitment to end hunger by 2025.
SADC regional bloc agrees on short and medium/long term actions
29 February 2016, Johannesburg – Countries in the Southern African Development Community need to urgently implement a set of agreed-upon measures to mitigate the effects of El Nino. A strong El Niño has seen the 2015-2016 rainfall season being one of the driest in over 35 years in Southern Africa and has far reaching effects on main sectors including agriculture, fisheries, forestry, water, health, education and sanitation.