Zambia

ACT Alert Zambia 1/2005: Crop failure in Zambia

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Posted
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Geneva, July 6, 2005 - Inadequate seasonal rainfall in 2004/05 in the southern, western and parts of eastern Zambia has significantly reduced production level of maize, the staple food, and other food sources, putting more than 1.2 million Zambians at risk of food insecurity.

With the lack of carry-over stocks, scarce sources of food and income, and limited response strategies, it is very probable that the food deficit period will increase from the usual three-four months to seven - eight months.

A recent government-led Vulnerability Assessment Committee (VAC) survey projected an increased need for food relief between July 2005 and February 2006.The survey, which covered 1,690 households in southern Zambia, estimates that the food insecure would require 118,335 metric tonnes of cereal during the period. It also found that 15.5 percent of children were suffering from malnutrition, while more than half the children aged below five did not have access to a balanced diet.

A preliminary statement of a joint NGO assessment mission urges stakeholders not to underestimate or discount the severity of the effects of the current situation on poor people.

In response to this situation, the Lutheran World Federation/Zambia Christian Refugee services (LWF/ZCRS) and the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) are currently planning an emergency and rehabilitation intervention. They are expected to launch a joint appeal to assist severely food insecure households in their areas of operation initially by food relief distribution and feeding of malnourished children.

In addition, rehabilitation activities by way of training in better farming practices and coping strategies as well as distribution of start-up packs for farmers is being planned for by ACT Zambia.

Any funding indication or pledge should be communicated to Jessie Kgoroeadira, ACT Finance Officer (jkg@act-intl.org).

Thank you for your attention.

For further information please contact:

ACT Director, White Rakuba (phone +41 22 791 6033 or mobile phone + 41 79 203 6055) or
ACT Program Officer, Michael Hyden (phone +41 22 791 6040 or mobile phone +41 79 433 0592)
ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org