2019

Zambia: drought in the Southern province
Created: 11/07/2019 +

Overview

Zambia is currently experiencing a prolonged drought largely as a result of below-average precipitation from the seasonal rains (November-March). The significant rainfall deficit, especially noticeable in Southern and Western provinces, has resulted in decreased agricultural production. Consequently, households are sharply depleting food stocks and are increasingly dependent on market purchases, driving up the prices of staple foods such as maize. Previous droughts have been increasing people’s vulnerabilities. 192,000 people in Southern province have been estimated to face Crisis and 54,000 Emergency levels, marking respectively 10% and 3% of the province's population according to the latest IPC estimation (from October 2018 to March 2019). Due to aforementioned factors, the projected number of people in need of food assistance is likely to reach the estimations or even exceed them, despite the end of the main harvest season (around June) when usually food security levels improve. Low water levels in major rivers and groundwater may further impact people’s access to clean drinking water. Hydro generated electricity has already been declining due to low water levels in dams.

2017

Zambia:Influx of refugees from DRC
Created: 13/10/2017 +

Overview

Over 3,360 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fled into Zambia between 30 August and 3 October 2017. The refugees have been fleeing inter-ethnic conflicts as well as clashes between government forces and armed militias in Haut-Katanga province. Several of them have reported extreme brutality committed by all parties against civilians. The total number of refugees from Zambia in 2017 is estimated at 60,000. Given the current security situation in the southeast of DRC, flows of refugees across the border are expected to continue. The refugees are reliant on humanitarian assistance. Priority sectors for assistance are emergency shelter, health, and WASH. Other needs include food and relief materials.

Africa: Fall Armyworm Outbreaks
Created: 25/04/2017 +

Overview

Outbreaks of Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, have been reported in DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Ghana and Kenya. Regionally, around 330,000 hectares of staple crops, especially maize, have been affected. The remaining southern African mainland countries remain at high risk. The severity of the impact on regional crop production is yet to be established. The damages caused by the infestation depend on the stage at which the pest attacked the plant. Crops that were infested during the early stages of crop development, in late December, had to be replanted, while those infested later in their growth seem to have recovered without intervention.

Update: The further spread of Fall Armyworm was observed in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe in March. Damage from existing outbreaks was also sustained in Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. While further outbreaks are expected only in northern Tanzania in the coming months, all countries are advised to continue monitoring diligently and to apply appropriate preventative measures. Although the Fall Armyworm season is expected to end in June, long-term impacts are expected for affected countries, and neighbouring countries should also remain diligent.