According to the Zambia Vulnerability Assessment (ZVAC, 2019) by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the office of the Vice President, at least 2,330,182 persons are facing the effects of a drought emergency during the lean season between October 2019 and March 2020).
The drought is a result of erratic rains, false/late start of rains followed by prolonged dry spells which have affected Southern, Western, Eastern and Central provinces of Zambia. At national level, maize production has reported a 16% decline in production (yearly) and 24% decrease compared to a fiveyear average. As a result, several districts from the affected areas have registered huge declines in maize production signifying a depressed supply in the coming months.
The current Zambia Vulnerability Assessment (ZVAC, 2019) has revealed an increase in severe acute malnutrition levels; now at 5.9% across the 9 most affected provinces in Zambia. At least 24 out of 87 recently assessed districts have indicated a prevalence of wasting above the national prevalence of 4% (ZVAC, 2019).
Sinazongwe district in Southern Zambia (which borders Zimbabwe’s Matebeleland) is the most affected drought affected with 21% (13,000 people) of the district's population faced with food insecurity as projected by the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS, July 2019). Even though the Government of Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has not yet declared the affected districts as a disaster, ACT Zambia forum is concerned about the drought situation and has requested the office of the vice President through the DMMU to release the latest findings from a recent assessment conducted and to declare the drought in Zambia as a disaster.