Southern Africa: Food Security Outlook Update - January 2012
• Currently, most parts of the southern Africa remain food secure. Nonetheless, as the lean season peaks, access is increasingly constrained. Rising levels of food insecurity remain a concern among households receiving inadequate assistance in areas facing moderate levels of food insecurity in Malawi and Mozambique.
• Although most of the northern and central areas of the region received normal to above-normal rains, much of the southern and eastern areas received below-normal rainfall during the first half of the season. Since January, normal to above-normal rains have reversed the moisture deficits that were developed in the first half of the season.
• Recent heavy rains in Mozambique, southern Malawi, and South Africa caused widespread flooding that resulted in the loss of lives, damage to infrastructure, and negatively impacted crop production. These downpours have also raised river levels, with some stations in the Incomati and Zambezi River basins in Mozambique already above the alert levels – indicating a high risk of flooding.
• Crop damage and losses from floods and heavy rains might result in an extended lean season in affected areas due to delayed or reduced green harvests that normally augment food supplies at this time. Where complete crop failure occurs, conditions could deteriorate rapidly, especially in areas (such as southern Malawi) where the previous season’s crops also failed.