The current El Niño event is signalled to be the strongest and longest event in 35 years. For southern Africa, El Niño usually means less rainfall in most countries but high rainfall in northern Tanzania and DRC. Across vast areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, this has been the driest October-December, since 1981.
Lesotho and Zimbabwe have declared a state of disaster following the affects of drought caused by El Niño. Most provinces in South Africa have also declared a state of disaster.
PRETORIA, February 5, 2016 - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and a Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM) representing a group of 10 Southern African countries today signed a landmark grant to pioneer innovative models to reduce high rates of TB in the mining sector.
- El Niño“drought effect” likely to have a long-lasting impact as people’ resilience continues to be eroded
- Ethiopia battling worst drought in decades
- Drought, food in security and power shortages stalk southern Africa region
- Cholera, a preventable disease, kills thousands across eastern and southern Africa
- Protracted conflicts to complicate humanitarian situation
- Funding shortfalls paralyse humanitarian responses
Background and purpose
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has as its **Strategic Objective 5** to “Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises”. In support of its national counterparts, FAO aims to address the current and future needs of vulnerable people affected by the 2015‒2016 El Niño event.
Poorly distributed rainfall leads to severe drought in southeastern Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Genetic diversity of livestock can help feed a hotter, harsher world
Despite growing interest in safeguarding biodiversity of livestock and poultry,genetic erosion continues
The current growing season (October 2015 – April 2016) in Southern Africa is developing under the peak phase of El Nino that is about to become the strongest on the record.
• The first phase of the growing season is characterized by severe and widespread rainfall deficits. Across vast areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, this has been the driest October-December since at least 1981.
Drought persists in southern Africa despite recent increases in rainfall
Africa Weather Hazards
Significantly below-average and poorly-distributed seasonal rainfall since October has negatively affected many countries in southern Africa. Exacerbated by a poor rainfall seasonal performance last year, several consecutive weeks of inadequate rainfall has already led to reduced water availability, delayed planting, permanently wilted crops, livestock deaths and other adverse ground conditions over many areas.
October to December 2015 was the driest in at least 35 years in several southern parts of the region.
Large decreases in planted area are expected in some areas, as planting windows close
Vegetation conditions improved in some central parts, though conditions remained very poor in many southern areas
Above normal rainfall was received in some western parts of the region in December, helping to reduce the overall rainfall deficits in those areas.
Drought worsens in southern Africa as temperatures remain significantly above average
Significantly belowaverage and poorlydistributed seasonal rainfall since October has negatively affected many countries in southern Africa.
Exacerbated by a poor rainfall seasonal performance last year, several consecutive weeks of inadequate rainfall has already led to reduced water availability, delayed planting, wilted crops, livestock deaths and other adverse ground conditions over many areas.
Oxfam's Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) tool develops a holistic, landscape-wide understanding of vulnerability and links up actors across various levels of governance to jointly identify and analyse root causes of vulnerabilities for distinct social groups and later design programmes and risk reduction initiatives accordingly, ensuring that they are equitable, gender-sensitive and effective.
Many countries across the African continent face recurrent complex emergencies, frequent food insecurity, cyclical drought, and sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and storms. In FY 2015, as in previous years, USAID/OFDA not only responded to urgent needs resulting from disasters, but also supported DRR programs that built resilience and improved emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response capacity at the local, national, and regional levels.
Persistently below-average rainfall leads to drought in many parts of Southern Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Dryness persists in southern Africa and Kenya despite recent heavy rainfall
Drought conditions have affected many countries in southern Africa, including Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique due to the delayed start of season and erratic distribution of rainfall. Exacerbated by a poor performance during the previous season, the deficient rain has already significantly reduced water availability, leading to livestock deaths and poor ground conditions over many areas.
Abnormal rainfall patterns contributed to a spike in food insecurity in the region, which is currently affecting more than 28.5M people. This figure includes Angola (where the figures are yet to be confirmed), Madagascar (where 1,893,398 people are classified as food insecure, of which 459,319 people are severely so). These severe food insecurity conditions are likely to be exacerbated by the current El Niño which is predicted to continue and strengthen in 2015/2016.
Francis Kyakulaga, a district sanitation manager, and I had finished eating a meal at the ground floor restaurant of the Mwaana Hotel on the Trans-African Highway in Uganda. During the meal, we noticed an increasing commotion in the hotel lobby area, and Kyakulaga asked a man what was happening. He informed us that someone had collapsed upstairs.
Heavy rainfall may lead to flooding in Kenya, Tanzania, and central Madagascar
Due to a delayed start of season and erratic distribution of rainfall, drought conditions have affected many countries in southern Africa, including Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique. Exacerbated by a poor performance during the previous season, the deficient rain has already significantly reduced water availability, leading to livestock deaths and poor ground conditions over many areas.
ABOUT THIS UPDATE
This report provides a summary of changes to regional maize availability estimates and markets in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (countries monitored by FEWS NET in southern Africa) as well as South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Swaziland. It updates FEWS NET’s Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook Report published in August 2015.
Rains are still well below normal in the southern half of the region, with deficits strengthening in some areas in recent weeks.
Onset of rains is delayed by at least 30-40 days in parts of Angola and South Africa
Moderate relief is expected in some of these drought-affected areas, according to short term rainfall forecasts
Vegetation conditions in many areas are among the worst in 15 years. These conditions have some negative implications for pastures, livestock and hydrology