A strong drought is affecting central and western parts of the Southern Africa region, after having received very little rain during the 2018/19 rainfall season.
Large parts of southern and western Zambia received their lowest seasonal rainfall totals since at least 1981 when records began. At the same time, northern and eastern parts of the country has been affected by flash floods and waterlogging, which has resulted in poor harvests.
Currently 1.7 million Zambians are severely food insecure (IPC 3 or above), which translates to 18% of the total population. For the period October 2019 to March 2020, the situation is expected to worsen, increasing the number to 24% of the population. The districts of Gwembe, Lunga and Shang’ombo are the most heavily affected.
According to UNICEF, 40% of children under 5 years are stunted in Zambia.
While the Government of Zambia has not yet declared a national emergency, the neighbouring countries of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia and Angola have already declared a state of disaster or emergency, because of drought or floods this year.