The chronic drought crisis continues to affect an estimated 1.42 million people, including 756,000 children. Temporary heavy rains have elevated the risk of cholera outbreaks and other water-borne diseases. As of April 2017, the cumulative number of suspected cholera cases stands at 392. Soyo – 218; Cabinda – 173 and Luanda – 1. In total 18 deaths have been reported: Soyo – 10; Cabinda – 8. Since week 12, a constant decrease was noted in Soyo, no new cases have been reported since week 16.
UNICEF has rehabilitated 20 water points during the first months of 2017, ensuring access to safe water for up to 5,000 children in drought affected areas. 68,000 people in cholera affected areas received aqua tabs for point-of-use water treatment, guaranteeing temporary access to safe drinking water; 298,000 people were reached by radio programmes and door-to-door hygiene promotion, water treatment demonstrations and messages on handwashing, safe water practices and preventive care against cholera.
The nutrition response remains critically underfunded. UNICEF was able to admit 3,719 malnourished children in drought affected areas into therapeutic treatment programmes
Situation in numbers
People affected by drought
Children affected by drought
Total children under 5 with SAM in the 7 most drought affected provinces
Suspected cases of Cholera in 3 affected provinces
People provided with aqua tabs for water treatment and reached with house-to-house hygiene promotion
Situation Overview & 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.
Approximately 30 per cent of existing boreholes are non-functional mainly due to 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. In Soyo, since week 12, a constant decrease of suspected cases was noted, no new cases have been reported since week 16. In Cabinda, 172 suspected cases have been reported since the outbreak with 8 deaths in total. At the moment Cabinda is the only province still reporting suspected cholera cases.