Zimbabwe Key Message Update, May 2017
Food availability and access expected to improve as the main harvest peaks
After delays due to late planting and above normal soil moisture conditions, harvesting activities intensified across the country in May. Harvesting is expected to extend into June in some areas. Although official production estimates are still to come, the harvests are expected to improve the food security situation across the country.
Average to above-average production is expected in surplus-producing northern areas and other high production areas, resulting in a shift from mainly Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in May to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food security outcomes from June through September. In most of the south and marginal cropping areas in the north, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in May are expected to improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes between June and September. Very poor and poor households will consume own-produced crop but still face significant livelihood protection deficits due to poor livelihood options partly as a result of the continuing liquidity crisis.
Increasing cash shortages are negatively impacting livelihoods across the country. The poor liquidity situation will likely affect the level of incomes that rural households usually earn from crop sales, remittances, and activities such as self-employment, brick molding, construction and petty trade during the projection period.
Water availability for domestic, livestock, and other livelihood uses continues to be good across most parts of the country and is expected to be generally good up to September, even in the marginal southern and northern areas due to above normal seasonal rains. However, surface water supplies from streams, rivers, and dams are dwindling in most marginal areas in the south and north. This is mainly due to extensive siltation and breaching of some reservoirs following the heavy rains this past season. Livelihood activities such as gardening and construction which are common after the harvest period are likely to be affected.