Over 1.5 million Mozambicans face food insecurity caused by severe drought

Apr 4, 2016

Drought threatens over 1.5 million people to food insecurity in Mozambique

The Technical Secretariat for Food and Nutrition Security (SETSAN) estimates that 1.5 million people are currently facing food insecurity due to drought in the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Sofala,Tete, Zambézia and Manica.

The Mozambican Government’s Disaster Management Technical Council (CTGC) on January 16th, 2016 declared an orange alert, only one step from the maximum state of disaster readiness, a red alert. The move was prompted by a combination of torrential rains that caused floods in the north of the country while the southern part was castigated by a severe drought.

The National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) general director, João Machatine, said that about 13 million US Dollars is required monthly for assistance to victims of drought in Mozambique. Machatine was speaking in Maputo, on April 04, at a meeting with development partners, including UN Agencies among them UNDP, FAO, UNICEF and WFP. The event served to share the latest updated information on the drought, exchange ideas as well as mobilize resource to further support the joint emergency response plan.

According to INGC there is need for urgent action as this recent data  has revealed that the number of people experiencing food insecurity is extremely high compared to  the number of people being assisted -  315,000 people, a number which the institution had based its estimated response needs, Machatine explained.

At the meeting, the Government requested the partners to inform within a week on what they are or will be able to contribute in addition to the support already provided in response to the ongoing drought.  

With regard to floods that also castigated the north of the country early this year, Machatine said that “although the phenomenon has affected 10,000 people, but the situation is under control”.

Mozambique is among other drought affected countries in the region including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Madagascar and Namibia, , with significantly poorly distributed seasonal rainfall since October 2015.  

According to the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET), the ongoing El Niño has resulted in a severe drought across Southern Africa. Rains, which typically begin in October/November, have been 10 to more than 50 days late and significantly below average. This poor rainfall, in combination with above-average temperatures, has limited crop development, pasture regrowth, and water availability.

Fast facts:

  • 1,493,928 people are facing food insecurity situation and need humanitarian assistance;
  • There are very little households (less than 10%) that expects to harvest some cereals in this season; 
  • The nutritional status of the children is worrisome in Sofala, Tete and Manica provinces;
  • Sharp reduction on the diet quality from November 2015 – March 2016;
  • For safety reasons, the bottom outlet of Massingir dam was closed on 24 March 2016. No water is being released from this dam;
  • The Humanitarian Country Team  needs at least 105.8 million US$ to ensure assistance of drought affected people till next harvest.





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