Southern Africa: Weekly Report (17 to 23 December 2013)

Madagascar: Second Round of Elections Conducted
A total of 20,001 electoral pools were opened for the second round of presidential and legislative elections that were held on 20 December 2013. 49,92 % of eligible voters cast their vote, compared to 61% in the first round. The election day was relatively calm; a few polling stations in the greater south reported that ballot papers were missing. On 19 December, the day before the election, the 'dahalo' destroyed election equipment in two districts.

Mauritius: Tropical Storm Amara affects Rodrigues
No casualties have been registered. However, there are localized but significant damages on infrastructure (electricity, roads, housing). Some 44 people were temporarily sheltered in sites, established by the autonomous Government of Rodrigues. The power outage is affecting 12,000 households. According to preliminary data the regions most affected have been Mont-Lubin,
Port-Sud-Est et Rivière-Coco. 'Amara' became an intense tropical storm on Friday 20 December. The Republic of Mauritius issued a class 3 cyclone warning for the Island of Rodrigues in the morning, with the temporary suspension of flights to/from Rodrigues. The warning evolved to class 4 during the day.
According to the Mauritius Meteorological Services, the nearest point between tropical storm Amara and Rodrigues was reached early in the morning on 21 December and in the afternoon; it was 140km far from Rodrigues, heading south.The weakened Amara system is still located 1700 km from the eastern coast of Madagascar. It is expected to dissipate in the coming days.

Namibia: Seed Distribution as Rains Fall
A shipment of 90 metric tonnes of Zambian maize seeds is in the final stages of being shipped from Zambezi region (formerly Caprivi) to six regions (Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, Erongo) for free distribution to small scale farmers.
Decent rains have come to a number of regions in the north, allowing planting to take place, which is set to alleviate some food insecurity in the coming months. Although the seeds are arriving two months later than hoped, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is hoping that distribution and planting can take place in a timely fashion.

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