Johannesburg: More than 41.4 million people in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) are food insecure, with about half of them needing urgent help after the worst regional drought in 35 years, the trade bloc of 15 countries said.
The drought is induced by E1 Nino, with a global impact on weather patterns. The drought has curbed cereal production in almost all countries in the region, which spans from South Africa to the Democratic Republic of Congo, leading to deficits.According to Sadc almost 500,000 livestock have died in Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe alone, while dams have also been severely depleted in this heavy drought.
Margaret Nyirenda, director for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, said in an emailed statement dated June 15 that “ they are deeply concerned about the scale of food insecurity in the region,”. “People continue to lose their means of survival and we can lose lives if we do not act now.”, in reference to the report of Gulf News.
According to the reports given by Sadc, the region has a nearly 9.6 million-metric-tonne cereal-production shortfall, translating to about 28 per cent of requirements. Food insecurity will peak from October this year to March 2017, according to the Sadc’s calculation.
Following the El Nino there is a 70 per cent chance of à La Nina weather pattern, which could mean reduced water deficits and better harvests, according to Sadc reports. Meteorological studies forecast the chance for floods in the weather cycle.