A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
The El Niño conditions that persisted during the 2015/16 planting season caused the worst drought in 35 years in Southern Africa, resulting in a second consecutive failed harvest, thus reducing food availability by 15 per cent compared to the five-year average. In Mozambique, the food security and nutritional assessment of the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN), released in September 2016, estimated that 1.5 million people were food insecure in seven provinces i.e. Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Tete, Manica, Sofala and Zambezia. Fewsnet (2016) also estimated that between October and December 2016, nearly 1.8 million people would be facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, hence requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. In addition, it estimated that approximately 243,000 acutely malnourished children and 113,000 pregnant and lactating women would also need food assistance between October 2016 and March 2017 in all affected provinces, including the northern provinces where chronic malnutrition and stunting levels were the highest in the country (RIASCO, 2016). A smaller number of worst-affected households, especially in the conflict areas, were also reported to be likely in Emergency (IPC Phase 4).
Further compounding the food insecurity situation and the outlook of the harvest in March/April 2017, Tropical Cyclone Dineo made landfall near Inhambane, Southern Mozambique on the night of Wednesday 15 February 2017, bringing with it strong winds exceeding 160km/hr, rough sea and torrential rain. According to the provincial authorities, the cyclone affected about 550,691 people (112,513 families), 7,651 families of which were considered most vulnerable. At least 33,712 houses were totally and 71,294 partially destroyed, with Massinga, Morrumbene, Maxixe and Inhambane city being the most affected districts. In the agriculture sector, approximately 29,173 ha of several crops were lost, primarily in Massinga, Morrumbene, Inhambane and Funhalouro. Moreover, about 135,865 fruit trees (cashew and coconut trees) were lost. These fruit trees represent an important source of incomes for the population affected (amongst most affected districts were Massinga, Inharrime, Morrumbene and Jangamo districts). The authorities estimated a need of 128 tons of diverse seeds among cereals, pulses, vegetables and tubers to address medium-term food security. Due to the seasonal calendar in Mozambique, this cyclone damaged the crops that were expected to be harvested in April 2017. This may further affect the communities’ coping capacities through devastation of crops and livelihoods. Thus, the situation in Mozambique remains dire especially in the areas affected by the Cyclone.