Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Report, August 2017

Originally published
View original


1.1 Introduction

Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania and consists of the two main islands, Unguja and Pemba and several small islets. Administratively, Zanzibar is divided into five regions, three of which are in Unguja (North, South and Urban West) and two regions are in Pemba Island, namely North and South Regions. The total land area of Zanzibar is 2,643 sq. km (Unguja 1,658 sq. km and Pemba 985 sq. km). Based on the 2012, National Population Census, the population of Zanzibar was estimated to be 1,303,569 in 2016, with an annual population growth rate of 2.8 percent. Population density per sq. km, is 530 persons making Zanzibar the most densely populated area in East Africa. Administratively, Zanzibar is divided into five regions; three in Unguja (Urban and West; South Unguja; and North Unguja) and two in Pemba (South Pemba and North Pemba). With exception of Urban and West Region which have three districts, each of the remaining regions is divided into two districts, totalling eleven districts for the whole of Zanzibar. Districts are subdivided further into Shehia, and each district contains a number of Shehia. Shehia is the lowest official administration unit in the country and each Shehia consists of a number of villages and households.

Zanzibar is dominated by a tropical low land humid type of climate with an average annual rainfall of 1700mm and mean maximum temperature of 260C, which provide suitable conditions for production of most of tropical crops including rice, cassava, banana, maize etc. The Island cropping calendar is characterised with bimodal nature of rainfall and two cropping seasons are experienced i.e. the long rains (Masika) from March through to June and the short rains (Vuli) from October to December. Agriculture is the main economic activity accounting for more than 70 percent of merchandise export earnings. Zanzibar agriculture is smallholder (with a per capita land holding of 0.25 ha), highly dependent of rainfall and characterized with limited use of improved productivity enhancing technologies.

Frequency of rainfall irregularities has been observed in Zanzibar since 2006. The repeatedly weather shocks which are apparently increasing in frequency and severity do pose a great challenge to agricultural development and livelihood of significant proportion of the population directly or in directly engaging in agriculture. In addition, repeated shocks increase the risk of smallholder farmers falling into destitution and chronic food insecurity given the fact that they have been experiencing new shocks before recovering from the previous ones.

Recent weather extremes experienced in the isles for two consecutive cropping seasons (Vuli 2016 and Masika 2017) has left substantial number of people affected. Zanzibar experienced prolonged dry spell from July to October 2016 following delayed and below normal Vuli rainfall which resulted into crop failure and reduced harvest in all districts of Zanzibar. Moreover, followed Masika Season was as well nor normal,
Masika rains were far above the normal resulting to floods which affected planted crops, damage of infrastructure and the outbreak of cholera which all together disrupted the livelihood of many population especially farming household. To assess the situation and understand the impact, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar conducted the comprehensive Food and Nutrition Assessment in July 2017 where IPC protocols were used for the first time .Five districts out of total eleven (11) districts of Zanzibar that are Micheweni and Mkoani in Pemba and Kaskazini “A”, Magharibi and Kusini in Unguja were assessed.

1.2 IPC Approach

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) is a set of tools and procedures (protocols) to classify the severity of food insecurity using multiple data sources and methods and as such provide actionable knowledge for decision support. The IPC consists of four mutually reinforcing functions, (1)
Building Technical Consensus; (2) Classifying Severity and Causes; (3) Communicating for Action; and (4)
Quality Assurance, each with a set of protocols (tools and procedures). The IPC standardized scale categorizes the severity of acute food insecurity into five levels of food security (called ‘phases’): Minimally Food insecure, Stressed, Crisis, Emergency, and Famine. Table 1 below indicates the general descriptions of these phases.

The IPC consolidates wide-ranging evidence on food insecurity and nutrition to provide core answers to the following questions: i) How severe is the situation?; ii) Where are areas that are food insecure?; iii) How many people are food insecure?; iv) Who are the food-insecure people in terms of socio-economic characteristics?;

v) Why are the people food insecure?. By systematizing these core aspects of food security analysis, the IPC contributes to developing standards and building capacity for food security professionals. The IPC approach is designed to be applicable in any context irrespective of the type of food insecurity, hazard, socio-economic, livelihood, institutional or data context.