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• The 2017-18 rainfall season was characterized by a late start, an extended mid-season dry spell (December-January) and heavy rains from February into April. The dry spell caused moisture stress and wilting of the early planted crops in many areas in Botswana, south-western Madagascar, southern Malawi, southern and some central parts of Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Cereal production during the upcoming harvest season in Southern Africa is expected to be below average, despite the heavy late rains, which benefitted the late planted crops. This is due to a late start of the rainy season, minimal to no rains during the critical planting season (December -January), high temperatures and the prevalence of Fall Armyworm (FAW).
- 75% shortfall in rain in large parts of the region during January
- 14,732 cholera cases and 218 deaths reported since 2017
- 234,200 people affected by floods and cyclones in 2018
12 countries (Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) had finalised their annual vulnerability assessments by the time that the SADC Dissemination Forum was held. Malawi and Tanzania still had to complete their vulnerability assessments.
Abnormal rainfall patterns during 2014/2015 have contributed to a spike in food insecurity, which is currently affecting at least 27.4 m people regionally (and this excludes Angola, which has yet to publish official figures; and Madagascar, which did not present to SADC, but where 1.9 m people are food insecure, of which 460,000 people are severely so). In Malawi and Zimbabwe, 2.8 m and 1.5 m people are food insecure respectively.
From October to December 2015, the entire region is expected to receive normal to below-normal rainfall. For the remainder of the season - December 2015 to March 2016 - the southern half of the region is expected to receive normal to below-normal rainfall, while the northern half is expected to receive normal to above-normal rainfall. Northern and central Madagascar is expected to receive above-normal rainfall, the great south is expected to receive normal to below-normal rainfall.
Over the past 10 years the SADC region has experienced 545 disaster events which affected approximately 39 million people and resulted in 5,300 deaths (EMDAT). The highest number of disaster events occurred in 2006/2007 and 2011, with fewer disaster events during the last 3 years. Droughts and floods affected the highest number of people. The largest number of people were affected in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania respectively, with the most people affected during 2005 and 2007.
Over the past 10 years the SADC region has experienced 545 disaster events which affected approximately 39 million people and resulted in 5,300 deaths (EMDAT). The highest number of disaster events occurred in 2006/2007 and 2011, with fewer disaster events during the last 3 years.
Droughts and floods affected the highest number of people. The largest number of people were affected in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Tanzania respectively, with the most people affected during 2005 and 2007.
The 2014/2015 Southern African rainfall season, which stretches from October to May , saw severe floods in the east of the region. The remainder of the region experienced poor rains that were late to arrive and irregular.
Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar were hit by multiple floods between December 2014 and April 2015 (accounting for 97% of all flood affected people) . A total of 10 tropical storm systems were monitored during the season, with tropical storms Chedza and Fundi affecting Madagascar in early 2015.
The benefits of strengthening disaster preparedness are cost effectiveness and the delivery of effective humanitarian response.
Countries in the region have varying levels of preparedness.
Mozambique and Madagascar are most exposed to tropical cyclones.
Overview 2013/14 Crop Production Season
Well distributed rains were received in most parts of the region facilitating good production in most countries
Late start of the season in north-eastern and some southern parts of the Region, including parts of Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Resilience refers to the ability of a system, communities and households to endure stresses and shocks.
Southern Africa as a region is characterized by high levels of vulnerability.
Recent momentum around the resilience building agenda in Lesotho and Malawi shows great promise.
A groundbreaking resilience framework is being developed to guide future activities in the region
During the 2013/2014 rainfall season (October 2013 - May 2014), severe weather events caused flooding in several Southern African countries, with almost all affected by some level of flooding. Nine tropical cyclones were recorded during the season, compared to the seasonal average of ten, of which three made landfall: Hellen, Amara and Deliwe. A total of 383,256 people were affected and 117 deaths reported. 195,000 USD was issued in the form of OCHA emergency cash grants to assist in response activities.
An estimated 383,261 people were affected by floods or storms and at least 117 people lost their lives during the 2013/2014 rainfall season.
Tropical Cyclone Hellen, which impacted Mozambique, Comoros and Madagascar in late March, was one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in the Mozambique Channel.
In Zimbabwe, the more than 15,625 people evacuated remain in dire living conditions.
A cholera outbreak has been reported in Katutura on the edge of Windhoek, including 11 suspected cholera cases, 3 confirmed cases and 1 death reported.
The poor WASH conditions and open defecation is of concern. Katutura had a population 43,109 in the 2011 census, although unofficial records suggest around 200,000 inhabitants due to immigration, which has been exacerbated by drought conditions.
The 2012/13 rainfall season was erratic, with torrential rainfall early in the season followed by dry conditions over parts of the region.
Insufficient rains and droughtlike conditions in the west and south-west of the region led to a poor agricultural season and death of livestock, resulting in heightened food insecurity.
Armyworm and red locust outbreaks in Southern Africa, although largely contained, may lead to secondary outbreaks this year.