Zambia

Zambia: 2019 In-Depth Vulnerability and Needs Assessment, July 2019

Attachments

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

About 2.3 million people during the lean season, between October 2019 and March 2020, are estimated to be facing IPC Phase 3 or worse food security situation. The devastating effects of erratic rains, dry spells, water logging, false and late start to the 2018/2019 rain season on agriculture production were the main causes of reduced crop production contributing to the acute food insecurity conditions across the country. Drought conditions affected Southern, Western and parts of Lusaka, Eastern and Central provinces, while flash floods, water logging and leaching were in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

Between May – September 2019 representing the current period, about 1.7 million people (19% of Zambia Rural population), will require urgent action to protect their livelihoods and reduce food consumption gaps. 16% are in phase 3, marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies and 3% in phase 4, facing large food gaps. Out of the 86 analysed districts, two districts have been classified in phase 4 (Gwembe – 14,800 and Lunga – 5,600), 48 districts are in phase 3, 40 districts in phase 2 while one (1) is in Phase 1.

The food security situation is estimated to deteriorate during the lean season, which forms the projected period for this analysis. Between October 2019 and the end of the current consumption period (March), 2.3 million people are estimated to be in crisis (phase 3) or worse, comprising 1.9 million (20%) in Phase 3 and 450 000 (5%) in emergency (phase 4). Only 39% of households had cereal stocks to last more than 6 moths of which 31% had for more than 10 months. More districts are expected to slip into worse off phases as food from own production depletes and increase reliance on coping mechanisms. It is expected that the current ban on exports of cereals will remain throughout the projected period and will ensure that cereal especially maize prices remain stable though increasing.

The food security situation is estimated to deteriorate during the lean season, which forms the projected period for this analysis. Between October 2019 and the end of the current consumption period (March), 2.3 million people are estimated to be in crisis (phase 3) or worse, comprising 1.9 million (20%) in Phase 3 and 450 000 (5%) in emergency (phase 4). Only 39% of households had cereal stocks to last more than 6 moths of which 31% had for more than 10 months. More districts are expected to slip into worse off phases as food from own production depletes and increase reliance on coping mechanisms. It is expected that the current ban on exports of cereals will remain throughout the projected period and will ensure that cereal especially maize prices remain stable though increasing.

Three districts (Gwembe – 15,000, Shangómbo – 13,000 and Lunga – 6,000) are projected to be in phase 4 food insecurity situations and will face huge food gaps as the situation deteriorates due to consecutive reduction in cereal production largely due to erratic and late start of rains. 55 districts are estimated to be facing in phase 3 (Crisis) situations, while 29 will be in phase 2 (Stress) situations. During this period, the proportion of households facing Phase 4 situations are expected to increase especially in Gwembe, Lunga and Shang’ombo which had already recorded an increase in sale of usual amount of livestock.

The analysis assumed a normal rain season for the 2019/2020 agriculture season, which falls within the projected period and is expected to provide casual labour opportunities for poor households in selected districts. Reliance on the market will expose 39% of the households who were already spending more than 65% of their income on food to food insecurity as prices increase during the lean season.

The response priorities include provision of humanitarian support to fifty-eight districts that are in phase 3 and 4; livelihood diversification programmes be scaled up in order to contribute to alternative livelihoods for the communities; strengthen the support on conservation farming implementation; strengthening of livestock disease surveillance system in all areas.

The also Assessment revealed that 67 percent of the population had access to improved water sources or “At least Basic” water service level (up from 63.5 percent in 2018), consisting of borehole at 50.6% (50.5% for 2018), protected well at 11.5% (8.9% for 2018) and piped water at 4.9% (4.1%for 2018). The Assessment also revealed that 32 percent of the population (down from 36.5 percent in 2018), drew water from unimproved sources which were unprotected wells at 19.1% (21% for 2018) and open sources such as rivers and lakes at 12.9% (15.5% for 2018). Comparing these findings from the recently released 2019 JMP Report (WHO-UNICEF JMP with 2017 data), the JMP report put the 2017 population for Zambia with access to improved water sources or “At least Basic” water service level at 60 percent, and the population who drew water from unimproved sources at 34.8 percent. Furthermore, the shortage of water is likely to have spiral effects on agriculture, health and nutrition.

The probable shortage of water in selected districts of the country is likely to lead to diarrheal and zoonotic diseases. The prevalent diarrheal diseases include typhoid and cholera. The diarrhea cases in these districts is quite high, this is partly due to the high percentage of people (64 percent) getting their water from unimproved source; the 95 percent of people who do not treat their water for use, and high percentage of people who have no toilets (open defecation) or use unimproved traditional latrines (only 11.2 percent use improved latrines).

Results showed that of the households with school going children, a small proportion of about 11 percent had their children absent from school between January and April, 2019. The households with the highest number of children absent from school were found mainly in Monze (9.9 percent) followed by Kalomo (5 percent), Lundazi (6 percent).

The report also highlights critical infrastructure that were blown off or washed away and require to be rehabilitated. The critical infrastructure are from sectors such as education, roads, bridges and culverts.