Since the beginning of January 2017, heavy seasonal rainfall has been affecting Southern Africa.
In Mozambique, 44 people have died and 79,000 have been affected mainly in the central and southern provinces in January. The Mozambican authorities issued an orange alert for the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane and Nampula, yet areas of Tete and Sofala provinces have also been affected. The orange alert means that government institutions are planning for an impending disaster. Continued rainfall has been forecast for the first quarter of 2017. Rains are expected to continue, which will increase the number of people affected. The risk of vector- and water-borne diseases is particularly high, as both cholera and malaria are endemic and outbreaks recurring. (ACAPS, 26 Jan 2017)
In Malawi, due to La Niña weather phenomenon since the onset of the rainy season, many districts have received normal to above normal rainfall triggering flash floods in some of the districts. Between 4 and 10 February, heavy rain caused the worst flooding in Salima District in four Traditional Authorities of Ndindi, Pemba, Kambwiri and Maganga. A total of 35,304 people have been affected. 7,216 people have been displaced and are homeless and are dwelling in school blocks. (Act Alliance, 15 Feb 2017)
On 15 February, Tropical Cyclone Dineo made landfall near Inhambane, Southern Mozambique. Shortly after, the storm evolved from severe tropical storm to Category III Tropical Cyclone and was reclassified as Ex-Dineo. The initial report indicated 3 deaths and 4 injured, damaged Infrastructure (electricity, and roads) as a result of the storm in the affected areas. The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) projects that urban flooding in small villages and cities may affect 200,000 people over the next 7 days and the following river basins would be at risk of flooding. (IFRC, 18 Feb 2017)
Despite the fact that cyclone Dineo has been downgraded as tropical depression ex-Dineo as it moved over land, it still caused heavy rainfall over 100 mm/24 hours, and strong winds in several parts of Zimbabwe. The National Disaster Response Agency issued the warning signal for 13 districts in 5 provinces – Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands, Masvingo, and Manicaland. Communities located along the Limpopo basin and Middle Sabi valley on the Southern Part are at highest risk.The tropical depression resulted in damages to houses and public buildings, infrastructure, including roads, dams and electricity. It is also threatening that as the rains continue in the areas it might cause localized floods and inundations of agricultural land affecting production and livelihoods. (IFRC, 22 Feb 2017)
Between 18 and 23 February 2017, Botswana was hit by the tropical depression, ex-Dineo which caused significant flooding across the country. As a result of inundations, bridges have collapsed, roads have been closed, and health facilities have been flooded. The Government has closed schools in some districts to reduce the risk of children drowning, however in some districts children must still travel long distances to school in sometimes hazardous flood conditions. (IFRC, 11 Mar 2017)
In Namibia 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. (New Era, 10 Mar 2017)
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2017 forecast at near-average levels
Imports of maize increase in 2016/17 marketing year to compensate for reduced 2016 harvest
National average maize price declined at the start of 2017, but remained at high levels
Food security situation expected to improve in 2017 on account of expected average harvest following sharp deterioration in 2016
Maize production in 2017 expected to rebound to average levels
Rains finally promise a good harvest in most parts of Zimbabwe's Manicaland province - but only if farmers can get it to market
By Andrew Mambondiyani
CHIPENDEKE, Zimbabwe, March 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After two consecutive seasons of drought, heavy rains finally promise a good harvest in most parts of Zimbabwe's Manicaland province. But farmers now face a new challenge: washed-out roads that will make it difficult to get their crops to market.
This map illustrates the satellite-detected surface waters extent and evolution over Oponono Lake; a large wetland fed by the Culevai Oshana, in Oshana region, Namibia, as observed from the Sentinel-1 images acquired on 02 and 14 March 2017. An increase of surface water extent was detected in the 14 March 2017 image, particularly in the upstream part of the lake: ~4,130 ha of surface water were observed the 02 March 2017 within the lake area and reached ~10,820 ha the 14 March 2017 corresponding to an evolution of about 160%.
Despite an increase in rainfall, long-term moisture deficits remain in Madagascar
Africa Weather Hazards
Below-average and erratic rainfall since December has resulted in strong moisture deficits and low soil moisture across parts of northeastern Mozambique.
Despite a robust increase in rainfall following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Enawo during early March, considerable long-term moisture deficits remain due to well below-average rainfall earlier in the season throughout the northern Madagascar.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The Government declared a State of National Disaster following the floods in southern parts of the country. WFP is providing complimentary assistance to affected people in Tsholotsho.
WFP plans to support the UNHCR-led effort to relocate refugees from Chipinge and Nyanga.
WFP Zimbabwe’s new Country Strategic Plan (2017 - 2021) was approved by the Executive Board on 22 February, 2017.
Main Objective of the assessment
The main purpose of the Inter-Agency rapid assessment was to ascertain the scale and scope of the flooding situation focusing on key areas/sectors namely shelter and non-food items, Health and nutrition, Food security, WASH, Environment, Education and Protection.
Specific Objectives of the Assessment
To determine the number of the affected people and establish their demographic characteristics
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.
On 31 January 2017, UNICEF launched the Southern Africa El Niño/La Niña Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal. The HAC requirement for Swaziland is US$2.74 million in 2017, which is currently 32 per cent funded.
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.
Mozambique, on the southeastern coast of Africa may seem far away, but when a cyclone struck in mid-February, aid from Canada was quickly made available.
Cyclone Dineo brought heavy rain, a storm surge and winds of reaching 130 km/h, killing 9 people and affecting close to 700,000 people.
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.
• Tropical Cyclone Enawo affects approximately 434,000 people in Madagascar
• USAID assists cyclone-affected populations in Madagascar and Mozambique
• Food security conditions in Southern Africa likely to improve when April/May harvests begin
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.
by Busani Bafana | @maboys | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 20 March 2017 06:13 GMT
Drought-hit farmers are hoping for their first bumper harvest in years, but army worm pests and floods are lowering expectations
By Busani Bafana
GWANDA, Zimbabwe, March 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After plenty of rain, Isaac Siziba's maize fields looked set for a bumper harvest this season, similar to the one he gathered in 2014, before Zimbabwe suffered a long and punishing drought.
As of 17 March, over 433,000 people have been affected by Tropical Cyclone Enawo, which made landfall on the northeastern coast of Madagascar between 7-10 March.
Over 81 people have been killed, 253 wounded, and 247,000 displaced. Floods have damaged health facilities, leaving over 250,000 people without access to health services. An estimated 175,000 people do not have access to safe potable water, and water-borne diseases are on the rise.
THE Salvation Army in Mozambique is responding to the first cyclone to make landfall in the country in a decade. Tropical Cyclone Dineo struck the coastal province of Inhambane in mid-February before moving along the coast to the capital, Maputo. Gusts in excess of 180 kilometres per hour left eight people dead and caused destruction to homes and infrastructure.