Southern Africa: Floods - Jan 2017
Since the beginning of January 2017, heavy seasonal rainfall has been affecting Southern Africa.
In Mozambique, 44 people have died and 79,000 have been affected mainly in the central and southern provinces in January. The Mozambican authorities issued an orange alert for the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane and Nampula, yet areas of Tete and Sofala provinces have also been affected. The orange alert means that government institutions are planning for an impending disaster. Continued rainfall has been forecast for the first quarter of 2017. Rains are expected to continue, which will increase the number of people affected. The risk of vector- and water-borne diseases is particularly high, as both cholera and malaria are endemic and outbreaks recurring. (ACAPS, 26 Jan 2017)
In Malawi, due to La Niña weather phenomenon since the onset of the rainy season, many districts have received normal to above normal rainfall triggering flash floods in some of the districts. Between 4 and 10 February, heavy rain caused the worst flooding in Salima District in four Traditional Authorities of Ndindi, Pemba, Kambwiri and Maganga. A total of 35,304 people have been affected. 7,216 people have been displaced and are homeless and are dwelling in school blocks. (Act Alliance, 15 Feb 2017)
On 15 February, Tropical Cyclone Dineo made landfall near Inhambane, Southern Mozambique. Shortly after, the storm evolved from severe tropical storm to Category III Tropical Cyclone and was reclassified as Ex-Dineo. The initial report indicated 3 deaths and 4 injured, damaged Infrastructure (electricity, and roads) as a result of the storm in the affected areas. The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) projects that urban flooding in small villages and cities may affect 200,000 people over the next 7 days and the following river basins would be at risk of flooding. (IFRC, 18 Feb 2017)
Between January and March 2017, Zimbabwe experienced severe flooding across 37 districts of the country, which damaged local infrastructure, livelihoods, transportation routes, and homes. (IFRC, 30 May 2017)
Between 18 and 23 February 2017, Botswana was hit by the tropical depression, ex-Dineo which caused significant flooding across the country. As a result of inundations, bridges have collapsed, roads have been closed, and health facilities have been flooded. The Government has closed schools in some districts to reduce the risk of children drowning, however in some districts children must still travel long distances to school in sometimes hazardous flood conditions. (IFRC, 11 Mar 2017)
In Namibia some 23,581 learners from schools in Omusati Region are currently idling at home as a precautionary measure taken by 67 schools that have been flooded by the incessant heavy rains that have deluged the north of Namibia in recent weeks. Apart from Omusati Region, schools in Ohangwena are also flooded with rainwater gushing into a number of classrooms. (New Era, 10 Mar 2017)
Heavy rain has been affecting Angola over the past days, especially the north-western provinces, causing floods. Local media reported, as of 24 March at 7.00 UTC, 11 deaths in the province of Luanda, several missing people, 700 houses destroyed and at least 5 300 houses flooded. (ECHO, 24 Mar 2017)
Most read reports
- Southern Africa El Niño/La Niña Situation Overview (30 September 2017)
- FAO Water Productivity Open-access portal (WaPOR)
- Southern Africa El Niño/La Niña Situation Overview (31 July 2017)
- RIASCO Humanitarian Outlook for Southern Africa - November 2017 to April 2018
- Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition: Africa - The Challenges of Building Resilience to Shocks and Stresses
In Malawi, the impact of extreme weather events has significantly contributed to the recurrent crises of food insecurity. This analytical work was undertaken to assist the Government of Malawi to strengthen its efforts toward effectively responding to extreme weather-related events, especially El Niño and La Niña phenomena.
WaPOR: database dissemination portal and APIs
The FAO portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access of Remotely sensed derived data (WaPOR) monitors and reports on agriculture water productivity over Africa and the Near East.
It provides open access to the water productivity database and its thousands of underlying map layers, it allows for direct data queries, time series analyses, area statistics and data download of key variables associated to water and land productivity assessments.
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster Malawi experienced normal to above normal rainfall within most of its regions. Karonga district, which is located in the Northern Part of the country, received above normal rainfall mid-March which resulted in extensive flooding in most of the district. The flooding resulted in infrastructural damage as well as displacement of families in the affected communities. The displaced families were evacuated to nearby schools where camps were set up for them to stay until the water subsided.
UNICEF/MoH mobile brigade teams screened 503,697 children for acute malnutrition and treated 8,742 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM);
UNICEF reached 56,700 people with access to safe water through construction, rehabilitation and upgrading of boreholes and 58,080 people with sanitation hygiene promotion activities;
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.
UNICEF and partners screened 240,674 children for acute malnutrition and provided lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) to 10,020 children aged 0-59 months in 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.
UNICEF and partners screened 189,305 children for malnutrition, of whom 24,923 children were identified with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and admitted for treatment.
284,184 people were reached with safe water through water trucking, piped water and water treatment at household level with water treatment pills provided by UNICEF and implementing partners.
By Joneck Gwatiwa
Umzingwane district in Matabeleland South Province is home to Esikhoveni village, one of the two villages whose piped water schemes were identified for rehabilitation after early 2017 floods destroyed much of the village’s water supply infrastructure. About 300 households without safe drinking water.
The damage on infrastructure impacted negatively on the wellbeing of learners particularly girls who lost most of their study time lost as they had to walk longer distances to fetch water.
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.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Planting of 2018 cereal crops underway
Cereal production in 2017 rebounded strongly, mostly resulting from beneficial weather conditions
Maize prices well below year-earlier levels, reflecting favourable supply situation
Food security situation improved significantly, with food insecure numbers falling by 87 percent on yearly basis
Planting of 2018 crops underway
The country generally received normal to above normal rainfall and this resulted in high production for most crops. Flooding was largely experienced in northern districts (Lilongwe, Mwanza and Zomba).
Late onset of rains; Northern Malawi (the rest of the country received early planting rains. Amounts and distribution were very good).
Dry spells were experienced in pockets of Centre and Southern Malawi.
Floods heavily experienced in some parts of Northern Malawi.
Heavy rains caused flooding in some areas, which was exacerbated by Cyclone Dineo in February 2017. This led to an increase in diseases such as diarrhea and malaria in some areas.
Higher rainfall compared to the previous season resulted in improved crop and livestock production, thereby significantly reducing households’ vulnerability to food insecurity.
Vulnerable populations in six Southern African countries will likely require humanitarian assistance through mid-2018
FAW infestations reported in at least eight Southern Africa countries
USAID/FFP provides nearly $47 million in additional funding to improve food security throughout the region
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.
UNICEF and partners have screened 233,950 children for acute malnutrition and provided lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM) to 7,822 children aged 0-59 months since January 2017.
UNICEF has provided 219,859 children aged 6-59 months with Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) since the beginning of 2017, including 53, 290 children since July 2017.
In the six northern regions, UNICEF-supported Community Health Workers (CHWs) have reached more than 4,800 children under five with nutrition screening, of which 112 were referred and treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Parents of these children also received key messages on sanitation and hygiene.
The chronic drought crisis continues to affect an estimated 1.13 million people in the south of Angola, including 605,982 children.
UNICEF has rehabilitated 68 water points in drought affected areas (Namibe and Huila), which provides safe water to 34,000 people, including 15,700 children. In total 175 water points will be rehabilitated by the first quarter of 2018 in an aim to reach 80,000 people with safe water.
A. Situation analysis Description of the disaster