An estimated 1.42 million people are affected by the drought crisis, including 756,000 children. Of this estimation, 800,000 people are located in the provinces of Cunene, Namibe and Huila.
As of February 2017, the total number of cumulative suspected cases in the ongoing cholera outbreaks stands at 306. Soyo – 184; Cabinda – 100 and Luanda – 22. A total of 11 deaths have been reported: Soyo – 8; Cabinda – 3 and Luanda – 0. Four of the five confirmed cases in Luanda had links to the outbreak in Soyo.
Heavy rains and flooding are affecting Cunene province, resulting in an increased risk of waterborne diseases and probability of displaced populations. UNICEF is currently assessing the situation with a crosssectoral team.
In 2016, with support from UNICEF, 17,762 children under five with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were treated through therapeutic treatment programmes and 118,000 people provided with access to safe water. In coordination with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF also supported 330,898 children in three targeted provinces with the measles vaccine.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Severe droughts continue to affect the seven southern provinces of Cunene, Huila, Namibe, Benguela, Cuando Cubango, Cuanza Sul and Huambo. The most affected are the three border provinces of Cunene, Namibe and Huila where UNICEF is focusing its comprehensive response. El Niño has resulted in significant food production losses of almost 90 per cent; leaving 800,000 people food insecure. Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rates remain high at 3.6 per cent for Cunene and Cuando Cubango, higher than the reported national average of 1 per cent (DHS, 2016). The same report indicated an acute malnutrition rate of 11 per cent and stunting prevalence rate between 20-29 per cent (DHS, 2016). In 2016, the estimated caseload of children with SAM in the seven most affected provinces was 95,877. In 2016, UNICEF has reached over 17,000 children under five with SAM through therapeutic treatment programmes.
Approximately 30 per cent of existing boreholes are non-functional mainly due to a lack of maintenance and missing spare parts. People continue to use unclean water for drinking, washing and cooking; including sharing water sources with animals, resulting in increased cases of diarrhoea and other water borne diseases. The drought and flash-floods are exacerbating migratory movements of whole communities, including cross-border movements, which raises child protection concerns - from sexual abuse of girls exposed while walking long distances to fetch water to child labour or reduced school attendance.
An increase of cholera cases, mainly in the provinces of Zaire and Cabinda, has been reported since January 2017. In response to the ongoing cholera outbreaks the Ministry of Health, with support from technical partners, including UNICEF has stepped up surveillance, health promotion and prevention activities as well as appropriate case management as part of a comprehensive response plan.