The UN Country Team in Namibia successfully undertook a school feeding field visit which aimed to strengthen knowledge on the Namibian School Feeding Programme and provide insight on WFP’s partnership with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
The currentrainy season (November to April 2017) has brought steady rainfall and relieved some effects of El Niño, but has resulted in flooding, school closures and the relocation of 1,092 people, especially in the northern regions. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) have warned of possible flooding in north-central Namibia. Regional institutions have been alerted and are putting contingency measures in place.
Outbreaks of Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, have been reported in DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Ghana and Kenya.
Regionally, around 330,000 hectares of staple crops, especially maize, have been affected. The remaining southern African mainland countries remain at high risk (OCHA 27/02/2017).
Since early 2015, the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region has faced widespread food shortages owing to the worst drought in 35 years which was exacerbated by the El Niño weather phenomenon. Two consecutive failed rainy seasons have left 13.8 million people in need of emergency food assistance.
Good performance of the current growing season (Oct 2016 – April 2017) is critical for Southern Africa, after suffering from two consecutive droughts induced by a long lasting El Niño event which led to unprecedented levels of food insecurity.
Oshakati-The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, recently visited flood victims in Omusati and Oshana regions to familiarise herself with their needs and living conditions.
Shaningwa visited Okalongo, Tsandi and Ekuku flood reception areas at Oshakati in Oshana Region that accommodate 570 flood victims who include 123 children under five years of age, 159 children from ages six to 18 years and 289 adults.
Pregnant women and people with disabilities are also accommodated at the reception centres in 32 tents.
A severe drought, associated with the El Niño phenomena, resulted in a humanitarian emergency in which an estimated 40 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Vulnerability assessments and analysis indicated that 23 million required immediate humanitarian assistance, as of June 2016.
In response to this, the Southern African Development Community launched a regional humanitarian appeal for $2.4 billion to support the needs of the affected population in the affected Member States.
Maize prices continued to increase in January in most countries in the region. The upward pressure is likely to be due to the peak of the lean season. Overall, maize prices will remain above their average price trend at least until the next harvest. Malawi and Mozambique have the highest number of Maize markets in ALPS Crisis at 71 percent and 100 percent respectively.
Omuthiya – Farmers in the Oshikoto Region are hopeful that this year they will have a good harvest despite the outbreak of worms in their fields in recent weeks. One of the hopeful farmers from Omuthiya, Esther Clonelius, who has been very busy weeding her three fields, says a part of one of her fields, situated a few kilometres outside Omuthiya, is already infested by unidentified worms.
Clonelius described the worms as having a red and greenish colour but has not reported the matter to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
Ongwediva-Some 23,581 learners from schools in Omusati Region are currently idling at home as a precautionary measure taken by 67 schools that have been flooded by the incessant heavy rains that have deluged the north of Namibia in recent weeks.
Apart from Omusati Region, schools in Ohangwena are also flooded with rainwater gushing into a number of classrooms.
Laban Shapange, the director of education in Omusati Region said the schools would re-open as soon as the floodwater has subsided.
Both large moisture surpluses and deficits continue to significantly impact different parts of Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Since December, an increased locust numbers and breeding have been reported in western Mauritania, Western Sahara, and northeastern Sudan according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Below-average and erratic rainfall since December has resulted in strong moisture deficits, degraded ground conditions, and poor crop prospects across parts of northeastern Mozambique.
• 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 2016, 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 local, national, and regional levels.
In 2016, the Surge Capacity Section (SCS) managed 144 deployments to 32 countries.
Floods triggered by Tropical Cyclone Dineo impact vulnerable populations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe
FAO convenes regional meeting on armyworm infestations
USAID partners continue to respond to drought-related humanitarian needs throughout Southern Africa
Southern and central areas continued to receive well above average rains in January
Poor rainfall was received in western and north-eastern SADC and Madagascar
The Fall Armyworm has been confirmed in 7 countries in the region. The severity of the impact on regional crop production is yet to be established
Tropical cyclones Carlos and Dineo affected the region in early to mid-February. The impacts of Cyclone Dineo are severe, particularly in southern Mozambique