Zambia: Floods - Jan 2013
Heavy rain caused flooding in Zambia from 17 Jan to 13 Feb 2013, with Mumbwa district in the central province being the worst hit. Agricultural fields, infrastructure and property were damaged and destroyed. Drinking water was contaminated by flood waters. About 1,800 people were affected. (IFRC, 17 Apr 2013)
ZRCS distributed relief items to the targeted beneficiaries and carried out hygiene promotion activities. This was aimed at reducing the vulnerability of 300 flood-affected households in Mumbwa district and to reduce the risk of water-borne and water-related diseases. ZRCS also conducted post-distribution monitoring to evaluate the distribution method as well receive feedback from the beneficiaries on the operation.
The three month operation was extended until the end of July to allow for a DREF review of the operation and a lessons learned workshop. (IFRC Final Report, 29 Nov 2013)
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Heavy rainfall forecast for flood-affected areas of southern Africa
Consistently heavy rains over the past few weeks have caused flooding, overflowing of rivers, infrastructure damage, and have displaced people in many local areas of central and eastern Zambia, including the Luano Valley, Kitwe, and Chipata regions. Heavy downpours are forecast to continue during the next outlook period, which could exacerbate ground conditions.
Summary: CHF 84,691 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 26 February, 2013 to support the Zambia Red Cross Society (ZRCS) in delivering assistance to some 300 households (1,800 beneficiaries) in Mumbwa District that had been affected by floods.
On 2 April, the budget was revised upwards to CHF 93,951 to cover the unforeseen costs of the deployment of an RDRT for 30 days as well as the engagement for one month of a logistics and a field officer as support staff for ZRCS.
♦ The Regional cereal harvest for 2013 is estimated at 35.11 million tonnes, representing a 0.2% increase over the 35.02 harvested in 2012. However, this year’s estimated Regional cereal production is 5% above the average Regional cereal production for the last five years (Table 1).
♦ The Region (excluding DRC, Madagascar and Seychelles) has recorded an overall cereal deficit of 3.93 million tonnes, which is almost equal to the 3.98 million tonnes deficit recorded during the 2012/13 marketing year (Table 3 & 4)
As maize prices decline, food security remains stable
The food security situation in the country remains stable following the average 2012/13 harvest. At the household level, staple foods are available through either markets or own production. Acute food insecurity outcomes for June are expected to be Minimal (IPC Phase 1) across the country.
Period covered by this update: 8 April - 20 May 2013
Summary: CHF 84,691 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 25 February 2013 to support the Zambia Red Cross Society (ZRCS) in delivering assistance to some 1,800 beneficiaries over a 3-month period.
A two-month extension is now requested to extend this operation to end of July, 2013 to allow for the incorporation of lessons learned workshop.
Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes to prevail across the region
• As the agricultural season drawsto a close, above normal rains in April in the southern parts of the region could improve pasture conditions. However, they are unlikely to mitigate the impact of earlier periods of extended dryness on crop production. Additionally, recent wet conditions, along with possibility of continued rains, may cause cob-rot among crops drying in the field.
Average maize production expected for the 2012/13 season
• Overall the food security situation is favorable with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes. Across the country, with the start of the harvest households are accessing adequate staple food supplies and an increased variety of seasonal foods. As part of the new harvest starts to enter markets, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) continues to ensure food supplies on the market through maize sales to millers and needy communities at fixed prices.
Period covered by this update: 26 February - 30 March 2013.
Summary: CHF 84,691 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 25 February, 2013 to support the Zambia Red Cross Society (ZRCS) in delivering assistance to 300 families (1,800 beneficiaries).
Dry spell continues, compromising yields in several countries
A prolonged dry spell in the southern half of the region has continued for over 2 months in some areas, resulting in crop yield reductions and dampened harvest expectations.
Though prospects remain good in some parts of the region, factors that have compromised expected harvests in other areas include an erratic onset of rains, armyworm outbreaks, input distribution challenges, along with flooding and waterlogging.
By Hanna Butler, IFRC
Rivers overflowing their banks across southern Africa have recently submerged communities and crops, but in central Zambia where no rivers flow, flooding has been the result of increased levels in the water table.
For one month, from mid-January on, the central province of Mumbwa experienced heavy rains causing the water table to rise to record levels. Falling rain could not be absorbed and instead overflowed onto the already saturated land, creating a flood which eroded topsoil and damaged anything on it.
27/03/2013 - Heavy rains have pounded Southern African countries resulting in widespread flooding, destruction of property, and loss of lives. The floods took place in the midst of the lean season, in a situation of acute food insecurity affecting millions of people through the region. In Mozambique, the worst hit country, more than 250,000 people, mostly women and children, are affected by the crisis with about 190,000 temporary displaced since January 2013. Malawi, Botswana, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe have also been affected by the floods.
Erratic rainfall in the south could significantly reduce yields
Acute food insecurity remains Minimal (IPC Phase 1). Most households continue to depend on market purchases for their staple food and the situation is expected to remain stable through June.
Although erratic rainfall in southern Zambia has affected crop conditions and is likely to reduce yields, the dryness has reduced the risk of flooding in areas in western and southern Zambia has reduced.
Restricted maize exports likely to continue
As anticipated, the general food security situation has remained favorable with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes across the country. Most households are depending on market purchases in order to access their staple food. Ongoing sales of maize to millers by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will continue ensuring adequate supply of maize meal in markets.
Summary: CHF 84,691 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Zambia Red Cross National Society (ZRCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 300 families (1,800 beneficiaries). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes to prevail across the region
With the exception of parts of Malawi and Mozambique, most rural households across the region will maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes from January to March by increasing reliance on market purchases through improved purchasing power and labor prospects, and supplementing these with food from green harvests which should become available in February.
Above-average weekly rains added on to already large seasonal rainfall surpluses in northern Mozambique.
Below-average rains in Namibia, Angola, South Africa and Botswana have led to poor ground conditions.