As we write this, Africa is suffering from the strongest El Niño it has faced in decades, causing major floods and droughts throughout Africa, leading to rising economic losses and major impacts on the lives and livelihoods of millions across the continent. Countries across the continent are declaring states of emergency, and are calling on the international community for support.
Cyclical drought, food insecurity, cyclones, floods, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies present significant challenges to vulnerable populations throughout the Southern Africa region. Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and manmade disasters.
By Brigitte Leoni
VICTORIA, Seychelles, 2 October 2016 – A multinational tsunami drill in the Indian Ocean has taught Seychelles key lessons about how to save lives in the event that a potentially deadly wave strikes in the future, according to senior officials in the island nation.
Mr. Paul Labaleine, Director of Seychelles’ Division of Risk and Disaster Management, said that his archipelago’s participation in the 24-nation IOWave16 exercise held in September had underscored the need to get a range of participating bodies to work together better.
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.
Twenty-four countries* will participate in a large scale tsunami simulation exercise organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO on 7 and 8 September.
By Brigitte Leoni
PORT VICTORIA, Seychelles, 7 September 2016 - Tourism in coastal areas is at high risk from tsunamis in the Indian Ocean as was demonstrated by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami which claimed the lives of up to 9,000 tourists from an overall death toll of 230,000.
By Brigitte Leoni
PORT VICTORIA, Seychelles, 5 September 2016 - Memories of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which claimed some 230,000 lives, will be revived this week as 24 countries take part in one of the largest tsunami simulations ever staged.
The Government of Mauritius, in cooperation with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), will host a major conference of governments and partners in Africa which will examine progress in disaster risk reduction across the continent and the ongoing challenges of responding to extreme weather events which have left 60 million people in severe need across the region.
Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average $US95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardising the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016.
The bulk of Southern African Development Community (SADC) is likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall for most of the period October to December (OND) 2016 and the January to March (JFM) 2017. However, northernmost Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) northern Angola, southernmost of Tanzania, northern Mozambique, the islands states of Seychelles and eastern-most Madagascar are more likely to receive normal to below-normal rainfall most of the season.
THE TWENTIETH ANNUAL SOUTHERN AFRICA REGIONAL CLIMATE OUTLOOK FORUM
The African Public Health Emergency Fund (APHEF or the Fund) was established by the Regional Committee in 2012 with the aim of providing catalytic resources for initiating timely responses to public health emergencies. Ever since, commitments have been made at every subsequent Regional Committee session to improve the functionality of this solidarity fund.
Summary: As of 12 July 2016, the Ministry of Health reported the number of cases as 1,062 with the outbreak extending to all five regions of the country, the 5 most affected districts being English River (101 cases) Anse Royal (99 cases) Anse Etoile (82 cases) Beau Vallon (78 cases) and Point La rue (62 cases).
Based on this, the NS is adding another 4 districts which will total to 5 intervention districts.
Disease epidemics result in substantial ill health and loss of lives and therefore pose a threat to global health security, undermine socio-economic lives and destabilize societies.
Description of the disaster According to the Ministry of Health, 253 people have tested positive for dengue since January - 21 May 2016. There has been an exponential increase in the number of confirmed cases from week 16 onwards with the peak (66) in week 19. In total 175 males and 96 females tested positive for dengue (253 cases). The age range 2 - 79 years old, with 85% of the cases being less than 40 years.
11 May 2016 - During a two-day mission to the Seychelles, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Supreme Court Annex - an infrastructure project constructed by UNODC under the Office's Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) which aims to carry out maritime piracy trials in the East Africa archipelago.
8 mai 2016 – Au deuxième jour de sa visite aux Seychelles, le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies, Ban Ki-moon, a rappelé dimanche l'importance d'une approche concertée entre Etats pour résoudre les défis du changement climatique, du développement durable et de l'aide humanitaire d'urgence, saluant l'engagement de l'archipel à faire profiter le forum onusien de son expérience et de ces idées.
8 May 2016 – Small States like Seychelles have served as a “magnifying lens” for many issues that all nations must face, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the National Assembly today, calling for the archipelago's continued support as the UN tackles three critical challenges: climate change, global sustainability and easing humanitarian suffering.
7 May 2016 – The problems facing our planet – climate change, poverty and insecurity – will only be solved through a global, multilateral response, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as he began an official visit to the Seychelles, a small island nation with “big ideas,” having shown leadership on climate action, environmental protection and the fight against maritime crime.