The urban water and sanitation situation continues to be a major concern, especially in Mbabane. The main water supply reservoir for Mbabane has been officially declared empty and another three urban municipalities (Hlathikhulu, Ezulwini and Siteki) have been identified as at risk of water system shut down. The Mbabane municipal authorities, with support from the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and the WASH Sector, are implementing contingency plans to manage the situation.
UNICEF has received $720,571 from USAID / OFDA to implement a 12-month project to address WASH and Nutrition related needs arising from the ongoing impacts of the drought.
With financial support from UNICEF, World Vision hosted a dialogue with parliamentarians on the theme of Protecting Children’s Rights in Emergencies. Participants at the event recommitted to support the enactment of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Bill, which is seen as a key tool to improve child protection and address gender-based violence (GBV).
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The impact of the El Niño-induced drought continues to be felt across Swaziland. Sporadic rains are currently enabling the maintenance of a four-day water-rationing system in Mbabane. However, if heavier rains are not received soon this will be increased to a 10-day water rationing cycle which will have greater impacts in terms of sanitation and hygiene, with potential disruption of learning in schools.
The Swaziland Meteorological Services (MET) current seasonal rainfall forecast has indicated a slight trend towards normal to below normal rainfall for October 2016 – March 2017 in the parts of Shiselweni and Lubombo, which are already the areas of the country most impacted by the drought. The MET forecast has also indicated that the whole country may receive normal to below normal rains in the period January – March 2017.