Botswana: Floods - Jan 2013
Between 16-23 Jan 2013, heavy rains caused extensive flooding in the Central Province of Botswana. At least 842 families (4,210 persons) were affected, including 300 families that were displaced and 125 refugee families. The torrential rains destroyed homes, roads, flooded dams, fields and destroyed livestock and livelihoods. By 20 Feb, the flood waters had started to recede and people had gone back to their homes, however many were still living in tents while they rebuild their traditional mud houses. (IFRC, 20 Feb 2013)
Summary: CHF 184,249 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 19 February 2013 to support the Botswana Red Cross Society to replenish stockpiled non-food items (NFIs) that were used to provide immediate assistance to some 591 families (3,459 people) affected by floods.
Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) managed the implementation of the DREF, ensuring that the NFIs that were used for flood assistance were replenished for pre-positioning in strategic areas in the north of the country, in readiness for future emergencies.
♦ The Regional cereal harvest for 2013 is estimated at 35.11 million tonnes, representing a 0.2% increase over the 35.02 harvested in 2012. However, this year’s estimated Regional cereal production is 5% above the average Regional cereal production for the last five years (Table 1).
♦ The Region (excluding DRC, Madagascar and Seychelles) has recorded an overall cereal deficit of 3.93 million tonnes, which is almost equal to the 3.98 million tonnes deficit recorded during the 2012/13 marketing year (Table 3 & 4)
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An estimated 518,000 people across southern Africa were affected by floods and storms during the 2012/2013 rainfall season.
The most affected country was Mozambique, where 250,000 people received humanitarian assistance.
Due in part to the sub-optimal temporal distribution of rainfall, most countries may have below average rainfall-related crop performance this season.
The first round of presidential election is currently scheduled to be held on 24 July 2013. No decision yet on whether it will be postponed or not.
On 17 May 2013 the President declared a national drought emergency and called for assistance from international community. An estimated 330,925 people have now been classified as food insecure - 14 percent of Namibia's 2,324 million people (total population)
Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes to prevail across the region
• As the agricultural season drawsto a close, above normal rains in April in the southern parts of the region could improve pasture conditions. However, they are unlikely to mitigate the impact of earlier periods of extended dryness on crop production. Additionally, recent wet conditions, along with possibility of continued rains, may cause cob-rot among crops drying in the field.
Priding itself as always being the first to respond to disasters, the Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) lived up to its reputation as staff and volunteers of the National Society extended a helping hand by embarking on a full scale disaster relief operation that aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to those affected, during the recent heavy rains that caused widespread havoc in the Central part of Botswana leaving hundreds of people homeless.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Rainfall deficits expected to result in below average cereal production in 2013
Increased cereal imports registered in the 2012/13 marketing year (April/March)
Poor domestic production in 2013 expected to aggravate food insecurity in subsistence sector
Several weeks of above-average seasonal precipitation over the Greater Horn has negatively impacted parts of Kenya
1) Since the beginning of the year, poorly distributed and significantly below average seasonal rainfall has led to deteriorating ground conditions, stressed vegetation and negatively impacted cropping activities and livestock throughout many parts of southwestern Africa. Many local areas in Angola and Namibia have experienced less than half of their normal rainfall accumulation since January.
02/04/2013 – When unexpected heavy rains recently lashed the usually dry province of Central Botswana, the local Red Cross was the first to respond. Trained disaster management volunteers from the Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) swung into immediate action, quickly accessing relief stocks, prepositioned last year in case of disaster.
Dry spell continues, compromising yields in several countries
A prolonged dry spell in the southern half of the region has continued for over 2 months in some areas, resulting in crop yield reductions and dampened harvest expectations.
Though prospects remain good in some parts of the region, factors that have compromised expected harvests in other areas include an erratic onset of rains, armyworm outbreaks, input distribution challenges, along with flooding and waterlogging.
27/03/2013 - Heavy rains have pounded Southern African countries resulting in widespread flooding, destruction of property, and loss of lives. The floods took place in the midst of the lean season, in a situation of acute food insecurity affecting millions of people through the region. In Mozambique, the worst hit country, more than 250,000 people, mostly women and children, are affected by the crisis with about 190,000 temporary displaced since January 2013. Malawi, Botswana, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe have also been affected by the floods.
CHF 184,249 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 3,459 beneficiaries (591 families). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
Government is doing everything possible to assist flood victims, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said.
He said the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development officials would assess all affected villages and families to see how they could be assisted.
President Khama, who visited Chadibe and Borotsi in Tswapong on Saturday, donated food hampers and blankets to victims of recent floods in the two villages.
The food hampers and blankets, worth over P30 000, were donated by the Lady Khama Charitable Trust.
Since October 2012, floods in Mozambique have killed a total of 97 people, of which 69 people have been killed since the major flooding began in January 2013.
In total, an estimated 213,000 people have been affected by floods in Mozambique since October 2012, the majority having been affected since January 2013. The total number temporarily displaced people in the most affected province, Gaza, is around 140,000.