Nairobi, 29 April 2016 – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched its 2015 Annual Report website and print edition in all six UN languages. The report showcases many of UNEP’s big results of the last year – from key work in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement to securing investor pledges to decarbonize $600 billion worth of assets under management – and zooms in on projects helping communities in countries like Colombia and Cambodia to adapt to climate change and develop sustainable livelihoods.
The current rainfall season has been the driest in the last 35 years across several parts of the Southern Africa Region. Two consecutive below-average rainy seasons have significantly impacted crop and livestock production, cereal prices, water availability, and livelihoods.
Food and nutrition security in the region also remains extremely fragile, with the situation expected to worsen. Overall, 28 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.
This assessment considers the cereals shortfalls expected within the southern Africa region over the coming year as a consequence of the impact of the current El Niño effect. The consequent need for imports by the countries most affected, and the impact of these additional imports on the regional supply chain is examined and some of the issues that may need to be addressed are identified.
Background and purpose
The impact of the 2015‒2016 El Niño weather phenomenon has been one of the most intense and widespread in the past one hundred years. The agriculture, food security and nutritional status of 60 million people around the globe is affected by El Niño-related droughts, floods and extreme hot and cold weather. While the El Niño itself has passed its peak and is now declining, its impact is still growing. Harvests in several parts of the world have already failed and are forecast to fail in other areas.
Cape Town – Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana says the department has allocated R381 million towards drought relief following the reprioritisation of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) and Ilima/Letsema funds.
With the effects of climate change having had a devastating effect on the sector, the Minister said the department would lead the implementation of the agricultural mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure that the sector copes with climate change effects.
Abnormal dryness over the Greater Horn of Africa despite recent increase in rainfall
Africa Weather Hazards
Poorly-distributed rainfall since October 2015 has resulted in large moisture deficits, leading to wilted crops, livestock deaths, and reduced water availability over many areas of Southern Africa. With the season coming to an end, recovery is unlikely.
Globally, millions of vulnerable people are experiencing increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. This particular occurrence is one of the most severe in a half-century and the strongest El Niño since 1997/1998 which killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion.
Land is a key issue for reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Reparations including the restitution of land, if implemented in the correct manner, can contribute to long-term peace building efforts and prevent further marginalisation of people who were affected by the war. With promises by the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to initiate reforms including with transitional justice processes and mechanisms, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) examines a key issue that is crucial for reparations and reconciliation in Sri Lanka: occupation of land in the Northern Province.
By Justice Lucy Asuagbor, Commissioner, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa
THE MAPUTO PROTOCOL
Increased rainfall forecast for dry areas in Guatemala and the Greater Horn of Africa
Africa Weather Hazards
Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs has introduced a new application system at its Marabastad centre in Pretoria, to ease the process for foreign nationals applying for permits and asylum documents.
Introduced at the end of January, the newly introduced box system has brought some relief to foreign nationals as they no longer have to stand in long queues to get their documents processed. It has also put a halt on corrupt activities.
The first half of February was characterized by very dry conditions in the southern half of the region, further reducing harvest expectations
Very high rainfall was received between late February and mid-March in most parts of the region. The rainfall helped to increase water supply, and may improve pasture conditions.
However, the rains were generally too late to improve crops that had succumbed to the hot, dry conditions in many areas
Pretoria - The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will conduct an operation to test water in Senekal, in the Free State.
The department said the operation, which will run from 12 to 15 April, will test water tankers that supply the community with water for any hazardous substances or bacteria. The tests will be done with assistance from the University of the Free State.
Pretoria – The community of eMadungeni, iXopo, will soon have access to water, thanks to the three new boreholes.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Cyril Xaba, officially launched the three boreholes to alleviate the scourge of drought in the province. The three boreholes, equipped with diesel engines, were unveiled on Tuesday at Sigubudwini, Sidwadweni and Khuluma Primary School.
This report is the result of a sevenQmonth inquiry into the causes and consequences of the violent attacks in KwaZuluQNatal (KZN) against foreign nationals1 by the Special Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration in KZN (hereafter referred to as the SRG), an independent committee appointed by the Executive Council of the KZN Provincial Government in April 2015.
Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has committed all spheres of government to provide extra support to areas hard-hit by drought.
The President was responding to a series of concerns raised by the members of the community of the uThungulu District Municipality and surrounding areas, in KwaZulu-Natal, during a Presidential Imbizo, on Sunday.
The community informed him that it was experiencing difficulties with regard to delivery of water services as a result of the drought which has affected the area and other communities across the country.
Most households in Southern Africa depend on maize as their main source of food and energy, given the high volumes and ease with which it is produced. Alternative food crops that are consumed as substitutes include rice, wheat, sorghum, millet, and tubers such as cassava and potatoes. Consumption of these substitutes occurs mainly when maize is not available or among those households in areas where such substitutes are more easily available (for example, cassava in northern Mozambique).
More countries declare a state of disaster due to drought
Despite increased rainfall in southern parts of the region in January, most of the region continues to experience dryness into February, diminishing any hopes of crop recovery. The El Niño-induced drought is expected to result in below-average 2016 production in most of the region, including the top maize surplus-producing countries, South Africa and Zambia.