The water situation is worsening in Swaziland; water rationing has been reintroduced.
In August, as part of the drought emergency response, WFP assisted 99,000 highly food-insecure people (reaching 99% of the planned target for the month). WFP provided life-saving support with 1,329mt of cereal, pulses and oil.
Implications of Seasonal Climate Forecasts for Agrometeorology in 2016/2017
SARCOF is predicting normal to above normal rainfall in the southern parts of the region, while normal to below normal rainfall is expected in the northern areas
The latest model forecasts have reduced La Niña expectations, and suggest near-equal chances for neutral ENSO and weak La Niña conditions through end of 2016.
The SADC region is experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino event which threatens to impact negatively on livelihoods and quality of lives. The region experienced a delayed onset of the 2015/2016, rainfall season, followed by erratic rains. Analysis of rainfall performance shows that the October to December 2015 period, which represents the first half of the cropping season, was the driest in more than 35 years in several southern parts of the region
The devastating drought has impacted all sectors and increased social protection concerns. According to preliminary SwaziVAC 2016 results, 350,069 people are in need of urgent food assistance until the next harvest season in March 2017. At least 66,000 cattle have perished and an estimated 100,000 more are at risk. A decline in food access (both in quantity and quality) is likely to reduce the HIV treatment adherence of about 167,615 people (UNAIDS 2015); while 200,000 people and 78 per cent of schools are facing critical water shortages.
The region experienced in many parts of the countries, the below normal rainfall conditions depicted by the devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino event which threatens to impact negatively on livelihoods and quality of lives in the Region.
The SADC Climate Services Centre (CSC) had predicted, in August 2015, during SARCOF-19 the below normal rainfall conditions. This was consistent with the observed poor rainfall performance.
The current rainfall 2016/17 outlook is the opposite (reverse) of the last season.
The El Niño weather event has been in a neutral phase since May. Nevertheless, it continues to have a devastating impact on vulnerable people in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Dry Corridor in Central America, and Haiti in the Caribbean. This event will also cause long term consequences for public health, nutrition, livelihoods, water and sanitation.
- While generous donor support has assisted humanitarian responders to reach millions of drought-affected people, significant funding shortages continue to impede the response. Only half of the funds for emergency food and agriculture assistance has been raised, while many other sectoral responses remain largely unfunded, including education (12 per cent funded); protection (18 per cent); water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) (18 per cent); and early recovery (26 per cent).
While the 2015-2016 El Niño weather event is now over, humanitarian needs continue to grow, and are not expected to peak until early 2017 as food security continues to deteriorate in many regions. WFP, working closely with partners on the ground, is rapidly scaling up life-saving operations for communities reeling from the catastrophic effects of El Niño.
WHAT IS EL NIÑO / LA NIÑA AND WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS?
• El Niño refers to a pattern of unusually warm water stretching across the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It typically occurs every 3-7 years.
• La Niña is characterized by lower-than-normal air pressure over the Western Pacific. These low-pressure zones can contribute to increased rainfall and flooding.
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The 2015/16 agricultural season in Southern Africa was the driest in 35 years. In a region where over 70 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, and following two, and in some cases three, consecutive years of drought, El Niño has had devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of farmers and herders.
The South African National Crop Estimate Committee’s (CEC) eighth maize production estimate (August 2016) stands at 7.29 million tonnes, up by 0.5 per cent from the previous estimate (July). The expected yields per hectare are 3.05 t/ha for white maize and 4.51 t/ha for yellow maize.
• An estimated 7.5 million people in highly-impacted Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe currently require assistance to meet their basic food & nutrition needs.
• By December, this figure is expected to almost double to 14.1 million people.
• WFP scale-up plans aim to target up to 8 million people during October.
↗ Ample supplies and improved production prospects kept cereal prices generally under downward pressure. Maize and rice quotations fell the most, while high quality wheat prices firmed on strong demand.
↗ In Africa, food prices in South Sudan declined in August although they remained high, while in Nigeria the weak currency continued to underpin prices. In Southern Africa, decreasing maize quotations in South Africa eased prices in importing countries.
The Annual assessment’s objectives mainly was to understand the status of livelihood sources in the rural and urban areas, thus to determine levels of food insecurity amongst populations, estimating vulnerable populations facing food insecurity and establish forms of coping mechanisms adopted during periods of food insecurity. The outputs from the assessment were further used to inform the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), as direct and indirect evidence. The IPC Analytical Framework was used to further classify rural populations into Phases.
Prospects for global cereal production in 2016 continued to improve in recent months with significant upward revisions for maize and wheat, reflecting particularly favourable weather conditions in some of the large producing countries.
COUNTRIES IN NEED OF EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE: FAO estimates that 36 countries, including 28 in Africa, are in need of external assistance for food. Persisting conflicts and drought induced production declines are the main causes that have stressed food security in 2016.