Thursday, November 29, 2012

State of Angola's Disastrous Drought

Angola is now in the midst of a disastrous drought.  This is current report just released by the International Red Cross.
Drought is currently affecting 10 coastal and central highland provinces of Angola. Agricultural production has dramatically decreased and increasing water shortages have been reported. It is estimated that agricultural production will decrease by more than 400,000 tons nationally and an estimated 366,780 households (1,833,900 people) will be affected  by food security across the 10 of the 18 provinces.
The rapid assessment conducted by the Angolan National Department of Nutrition in May 2012 confirmed that most of the population, especially in rural areas, is affected by the drought. The total number of acutely malnourished children in the ten affected provinces is currently estimated at 533,000.
The assessment carried out by the Red Cross team confirmed that the situation is serious and requires immediate attention before it escalates out of hand in the coming 3-4 months. In some areas, families are sharing with livestock, few water sources that are also highly contaminated. Consequently, the possibility of outbreak of water related diseases are very high.
The Ministry of Agriculture reported a 60% decrease of average rainfall amount over the planting season resulting in 30% drop in crop production especially of cereals like maize. Total crop failure reported was recorded in some regions especially of bean crops and other drought tolerant tubers. With more than 70% of the population living below the poverty datum line, the impact will be devastating. (ICRC Nov 2012)

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