UNICEF Namibia Year-end Humanitarian Situation Report, January 2017 - December 2017

Situation Report
Originally published



  • In the six northern regions affected by floods in 2017, UNICEFsupported Community Health Workers (CHWs) have reached 4,800 children under five with nutrition screening, of which 1,138 children were treated for severe or moderate acute malnutrition. Improved reporting has identified 148 deaths related to malnutrition, and UNICEF has supported the development of the Emergency Nutrition Action Plan which was been submitted for Government funding in December 2017.

  • UNICEF promotion of Community-Led Total Sanitation has resulted in 5, 149 households (30,000 people) taking action to improve their own sanitation, and a total of 450 new latrines were constructed by community members in just two months. In total, five of 61 focus villages have universal latrine coverage, use tippy taps, and were declared open defecation free. In addition 52 schools are implementing School-Led Total Sanitation of which 10 schools have attained open defecation free criteria.

  • With USAID funding, UNICEF handed over 8 water trucks to 7 regions.
    In the first two months of operation, they have supported over 6,600 people with access to safe drinking water.

  • Through UNICEF support to birth registration, a key bottleneck to access social grants has been removed, with over 45,000 additional children receiving grants in the flood-affected areas.


155,924 Total population in drought/flood affected areas

70,000 Children in drought/flood affected areas

85,000 Children 6-59 months affected by severe and moderate acute malnutrition

6% Prevalence of wasting among children under five

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Between January and April 2017, Namibia received erratic rainfall which caused widespread flooding in the northern regions bordering Angola. This followed the El Niño-related drought emergency which was declared in June 2016 and ended in March 2017. The floods affected an estimated 155,924 people and at their peak (April 2017) displaced 3,331 people who received shelter and essential services from the Regional Authorities of Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Zambezi.

The El Niño induced drought and flooding due to the La Niña compounded with poor sanitation, especially in rural areas, had a negative impact on household income, food security and also contributed to the spread of diseases. As a result, during the peak of flood season (January to June), approximately 80 per cent of all children (around 2,600) admitted to the hospitals’ paediatric wards in the targeted regions were acutely malnourished. In 2016, this figure did not exceed 50 per cent.

Malaria surged in the northern regions with approximately 53,000 new cases and 72 deaths reported in the first six months of 2017, known as the “malaria season.” Floods provided a fertile ground for the mosquitoes to breed and despite the government efforts to control and eliminate mosquitoes through residual spraying and active case search.

A Fall Armyworm outbreak was reported in northern areas resulting in losses of about 1,980 Ha of maize. Despite this, the latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report by FAO (June 2017) reported that the country received a good cereal harvest which was estimated at 84 percent higher than last season’s harvest and about 16 percent above the average production.

The 2017/18 rainy season is forecast to be normal to above-normal for January to March 2018 for the bulk of the country, except for the western fringe which can expect normal to below-normal rainfall.