Eswatini: Acute Food Insecurity Situation in June 2018 and Projections for October 2018 - February 2019
According to the IPC Analysis, as for June-September 2018, Lubombo region is classified in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with 122 657 people or 25% of the population in Crisis conditions. Hhohho and Manzini regions are classified at Minimal level of food insecurity (IPC Phase 1), and Shiselweni region is classified at Stressed level (IPC Phase 2).
Lubombo region suffered a few shocks in the period preceding the collection of data. Lubombo is the only region where the percentage of households with borderline and poor food consumption increased from 22% in 2017 to 30% in 2018. Dietary diversity is poor, with 11% of households having low dietary diversity (indicative of eating less than or equal to 3 food groups and indicative of IPC Phase 4). Although there is an indication that the quality of diets is a problem, the quantity seems to be acceptable in relation to the number of meals consumed by household members. Girls and boys less than 5 years consume 4 meals a day; girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 17 and men and women eat 3 meals a day. However, what is noted is that Lubombo is the only region where girls younger than 5 years eat 4 meals a day, compared to 5 meals as observed in the other 3 regions.
In terms of nutritional status, Lubombo has low GAM rates (2.9%), probably attributable to neighbourhood care points (NCPs). Lubombo has the highest percentage of children (15%) amongst all the regions, who eat at these NCPs on a regular basis and the highest prevalence of sick children compared to the other regions. In addition, while 61% of households have access to improved water sources, 72% reported that a hazard (such as solid waste; chemical or hazardous substance and toxic contamination sources) were near their water source. The use of livelihood coping strategies in the region is low. Poor and very poor households are coping with food insecurity by engaging in stress (14%); crisis (14%) and emergency (10%) strategies.
As for October 2018-Febraury 2019, which corresponds to lean season, the situation is likely to deteriorate in Lubombo. The fall armyworm could compromise the green harvest. Livestock deaths could increase as 45.2% households reported having poor pasture. In addition, only 8% of households have stocks to last more than 6 months which is only until the beginning of the lean season. In Shiselweni the situation is also likely to deteriorate from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the lean season since the region suffered significant shocks.