Description of the disaster
Abnormal dryness is hampering the 2020/21 rainy season, which typically runs from November to April. Angolans living in the border provinces with Namibia, the Cunene and Huila, are experiencing food and water shortages due to persistent drought with malnutrition widespread amongst these communities.
Angola has been experiencing episodes of drought since December last year with below average rainfall in the provinces of Cuanza Sul, Benguela, Huambo, Namibe and Huíla. The situation is not expected to improve in the coming months in the absence of above average rainfall. Since the beginning of March 2021, Angolans living in the border provinces of Cunene and Huila are crossing into Namibia at illegal entry points in Omusati and Ohangwena regions in search of food, water, medical services and employment opportunities. The regional councils (local authorities) have recorded altogether 894 people in Omusati and Kunene regions who have crossed into Namibia in search of food. These numbers are comprised of mostly children, lactating mothers, and the elderlies. In Omusati the migrants are at Etunda in a designated place/camp, in Kunene they are currently accommodated in three locations in Opuwo, which are next to community leader house/family members. On 24 March 2021, the office of the Prime Minister appealed to stakeholders to assist the affected migrants with food, shelter, blankets, water, sanitation, mosquito nets, toiletries and cooking utensils.
There are reported Angolan nationals crossing into Namibia in Ohangwena region, but the regional authority there has confirmed that these people are only coming in to buy goods and return to Angola due to shortage and high prices of basic commodities in Angola. The Namibian government is engaging Angolan authorities to seek a sustainable solution to the situation as the Namibia RC assistance is short-term and only focusing on saving lives and reducing suffering.