Southern Africa: Armyworm Infestation - Jan 2017Ongoing
Reports from the Zambia Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit indicate that as of 9 January 2017, close to 130,000 ha planted to maize had been affected by a severe outbreak of the Fall Armyworm, which is new to the southern African region. Of the affected area, over 68,000 ha may require re-planting. Government efforts to control the outbreak are underway...With 94% of the country’s districts affected in varying degrees, including several districts bordering Zambia’s eight neighbours in the SADC region, vigilant region-wide monitoring activities are required. (SADC, 13 Jan 2017)
A fall armyworm outbreak, the first emergence of the pest in southern Africa, is causing considerable crop damage in some countries. If the pest damage aggravates, it could dampen prospects for good crop harvests that is anticipated in the current farming season. Maize, a staple food in the region, has been the most affected, as well as other cereals including sorghum, millet and wheat. Southern Africa is reeling from the effects of two consecutive years of El Niño-induced drought that affected over 40 million people, reduced food availability by 15 percent and caused a cereal deficit of 9 million tonnes. (FAO, 3 Feb 2017)
Sixteen East and Southern African countries agreed on 16 February on urgent plans of action aimed at boosting the region’s capacity to manage emerging crop pests and livestock diseases, including armyworm and avian influenza ... Zambia has reported that almost 90 000 hectares of maize have been affected, forcing farmers to replant their crops. In Malawi some 17 000 hectares have so far been affected while in Namibia, approximately 50 000 hectares of maize and millet has been damaged and in Zimbabwe up to 130 000 hectares could be affected thus far. (FAO, 16 Feb 2017)
The first 20 days of April saw an increase in rainfall in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa, after a relatively dry March. Rainfall tapered off in late April, although some areas in Zimbabwe and central Mozambique received higher than usual rainfall amounts for this time of year ... The excessive rainfall in some areas also appears to have helped suppress the impact of the fall armyworm, a new pest which has invaded 11 SADC countries. (SADC, 28 Apr 2017)
Preliminary assessments, conducted between mid-February and the end of April 2017, showed that approximately 356,000 hectares of crops were affected by the fall armyworm infestation in seven reporting Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia. (FAO, 26 May 2017)
Erratic rainfall, high temperatures and persistent Fall Armyworm infestation lower cereal crop production prospects for 2018 in southern Africa. (Food and Nutrition Security Working Group Feb 8 2018)
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Unfavorable weather conditions, high temperatures, persistence of pest infestation, continued recovery from the 2015/2016 El Nino drought, are likely to have a negative impact on 2018 harvest and food security.
WFP food assistance programmes currently ongoing in central and southern provinces support many of the most vulnerable areas primarily through resilience programmes.
WFP launched its feedback and complaint mechanism with women operators in Gaza and Tete.
In January 2018, WFP assisted almost 7,000 people through the Food by Prescription programme. Due to funding shortfalls, there are pipeline breaks for some commodities.
Assistance to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) reached 55,500 beneficiaries in January 2017, which is more than planned as additional children were found to be attending an increased number of NCPs
HIV and Nutrition:
700,000 families could be affected by dry spells and 1.2 million by fall army worm infestation
USD 1.8 million are urgently needed to sustain the food support provided to 32,175 refugees
420,000 people supported by WFP with cash-based transfers for the lean season response
132,000 households are currently enrolled in WFP Malawi’s resilience programme
In Focus: rising concerns on the 2018 harvest
WFP is implementing resilience strengthening activities in 16 targeted communes of the South and South East, where the food security situation has improved.
Nutritional support and school feeding programmes are also implemented in those communes, for higher impact.
Given that the 2017/2018 cyclone season is reported to be highly active, WFP is enhancing its emergency preparedness measures. WFP has provided emergency food assistance to 11,790 households displaced following cyclone AVA.
In the six northern regions affected by floods in 2017, UNICEFsupported Community Health Workers (CHWs) have reached 4,800 children under five with nutrition screening, of which 1,138 children were treated for severe or moderate acute malnutrition. Improved reporting has identified 148 deaths related to malnutrition, and UNICEF has supported the development of the Emergency Nutrition Action Plan which was been submitted for Government funding in December 2017.
• In 2017, Malawi experienced a series of cholera outbreaks. As at 31 December 2017, a cumulative total of 282 cases with five deaths were registered from the 7 districts.
• More than one million people are in food security crisis (IPC Phase 3) and have been provided with humanitarian food assistance for periods ranging from two to four months, starting December 2017.
Total people in need: 1.9 million
Total children (<18) in need: 932,000
Total people to be reached: 770,000
Total children to be reached: 362,000
2018 programme targets:
- 25,000 children under 5 with SAM admitted to therapeutic treatment sites
- 362,000 children under 5 supplemented with vitamin A, dewormed and screened for acute malnutrition twice in 2018
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Southern Africa continues to recover from the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought, which by January 2017 had affected about 41 million people across the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)1. The substantial government- and SADC-led response, supported by $900 million from the international humanitarian community2, empowered farmers to take advantage of a good 2016/2017 rainfall season, delivering an April 2017 cereal harvest 3 per cent above the 5-year average.
The 2015–2016 El Niño phenomenon resulted in the worst drought in 35 years for much of southern Africa.
In the eight most-affected countries (Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,
Swaziland and Zimbabwe), an estimated 16.1 million people required assistance between December 2016 and March 2017, including some 5 million children who required urgent humanitarian assistance.
With worsening droughts drying fields and hydropower, solar energy is providing a way forward in rural areas.
By Tonderayi Mukeredzi
MASHABA, Zimbabwe, Sept 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Until recently, farmers in this town in southern Zimbabwe struggled to water their crops, frustrated by poor rainfall and the regular breakdown of the diesel engines that powered their irrigation systems.
• UNICEF provided eight water tanker trucks to the Government of Namibia to support water-stressed communities in seven drought-affected regions. UNICEF also provided 15,000 bednets in support of the malaria outbreak response which has affected more than 11,900 people in the first quarter of 2017.
• Since 2011, Zimbabwe’s Gross Domesc Product growth rate has been declining from a high of 11.9% to 1.5% in 2015. It was esmated at 0.6% in 2016 but is now projected to rise to 3.7% in 2017 and to taper off slightly to 3.4% in 2018 mainly on the back of improved performance of the agricultural sector (Ministry of Finance, 2017; World Bank, 2017).
Namibia has received rain associated with La Niña following four years of drought. However, the heavy rains have caused flooding which has affected 155,924 people, displacing 3,331. The Government of Namibia has responded with shelter and services for the displaced. The caseload of displaced people is expected to increase as river levels continue to rise.
On 3 March 2017, Namibia celebrated Africa Day for School Feeding. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture in partnership with WFP and sponsors from the private sector commemorated the day at Hillside Primary School in Goreangab Dam, Windhoek. This day was celebrated to raise awareness of school feeding as an important food safety net for protection against hunger and investment in the education of children.
This report is jointly produced by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), Government of Malawi, the United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator and humanitarian partners in Malawi.
• In May 2016, the Malawi Vulnerability Annual Assessment Committee (MVAC) revealed that 6.5 million people, about 39% of the total population was at risk of food insecurity in 24 of the 28 districts. However, in October 2016, a field assessment to update the situation reported that the number had increased to 6.7 million people.
Despite the Minister of Agriculture’s maize export ban on commercial traders, exports of maize through WFP’s humanitarian window continues. As of 28 February, cumulative tonnage dispatches (13,000 mt contract) was 5,348 mt.
The current rainy 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.
Food Assistance in Numbers
- Over the three month peak of the crisis (January—March), WFP’s aims to reach more than 13 million people with food assistance in Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- In January, food assistance reached 10.6 million people in the seven countries.
WFP scales up its El Niño response to an additional 78,000 people in four districts, reaching 1.1 million people with Lean Season Assistance in January.
Initial findings of the ZimVAC Rapid Rural Assessment suggest that the lean season assistance may need to be extended for two months to prevent farmers from prematurely consuming immature crops.
Additional resources are urgently needed to support existing and additional new refugees at Tongogara refugee camp.