Government has since approved a supplementary budget to support some of the activities of the NERMAP to the tune of $7,057,538.59, following extending the duration of the drought emergency declared two months ago to May 18, 2016.
An El Niño-induced drought has contributed to a projected 64 per cent year-on-year decrease in maize production (the staple food).
An estimated 300,000 people require food assistance – a quarter of the total population.
Water scarcity is affecting all aspects of society, including education (an estimated 189,000 learners) and health facilities (particularly maternity services).
• On 18 February 2016 the Government declared a national state of emergency due to the drought, as El Nino impacts become more apparent.
• Maize production fell by 31 per cent in 2015, and is expected to be lower in the 2016 crop season, placing at least 300,000 people - a third of the population - in dire need of assistance, specifically with for food and water.
• Hawane Dam, which supplies Mbabane, stands at 17 per cent capacity, with water supply from 20 days to 8 weeks.