The Zambia Red Cross and the IFRC and its Red Crescent Societies are appealing for donations. A “catastrophic” combination of drought and communities’ declining resilience has left an estimated 2.3 million people facing severe acute food insecurity in Zambia alone, according to the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC). Southern Africa’s temperatures are rising at twice the global average rate, according to the International Panel on Climate Change, and in much of South Africa the level of water in reservoirs is dwindling. Some of the Zambia Red Cross branches are among the aid groups that have been distributing food relief to hunger-affected communities on behalf of the government for a few months now, but more help is needed. In 2015/2016, human-caused warming contributed to droughts in southern African by increasing El Niño sea surface … “We must develop new technologies and partnerships that will not only assist displaced families in crisis settings but offer them livelihood opportunities wherever they can find them. Drought. The disruption caused in Botswana and Zambia in particular has to be seen in the context that rainfall anomalies during the 2015/16 El Niño were not actually extreme given the strength of the El Niño. “Our priority is to quickly provide emergency cash to vulnerable families,” said Dr. Michael Charles, head of IFRC’s Southern Africa cluster office, in the press release. Biotechnology has been proven and GM crops being grown by millions of farmers across the world, according to Dr. Stephen Mugo, regional representative for Africa and country representative for Kenya CIMMYT. Human-caused warming has contributed to ongoing drought conditions. Additional research is under way on NEWEST rice, which has been engineered to require less nitrogen fertilizer, tolerate drought conditions and grow in salty soils — while still giving good yields. How Africa will be affected by climate change. African scientists have developed both GM and hybrid varieties of drought-tolerant maize and are continuing to test an insect-resistant, drought-tolerant maize variety known as TELA in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Image of the Day A months-long drought affecting most of southern Africa has led to serious food shortages for millions of people. Problems associated with drought can have economic, environmental, and social impacts on both the areas where they occur and areas that have relations with those where the drought happens. In the latter case, summers become drier in the summer rainfall region (Tyson and Lindesay, 1992). More frequent and intense extreme weather events linked to climate change, combined with one of the strongest El Niño events on record. War, food distribution problems, and drought have come together to push millions of people to the brink of starvation. The first/left image shows Lake Kariba, one of the world’s largest reservoirs, on December 2, 2018; the second image is from December 1, 2019. In addition to hunger, the ongoing drought is subjecting some Zambians to other threats, according to Kaitano Chungu, secretary general of the Zambia Red Cross. World’s Biggest Reservoir May Stop Producing Power Amid Drought. However, these regular droughts have become more extreme and more unpredictable due to climate change. Human Presence Drought in South Africa caused by El Niño, human action and climate change. Use the image-comparison slider to see the differences in the shorelines. Land This appeal will fund efforts to provide sustained emergency and recovery-focused assistance to about 57,000 people who are among the worst-affected by the current crisis. We need to have a systematic way of engaging with policymakers to provide them with credible scientific information to make science-based decisions.”. Water levels on the Zambezi River are lower than they have been for decades, fish stocks are in danger of collapsing, and the usually thundering Victoria Falls has slowed to a trickle. Life “We would really like it to benefit the resource-poor farmers.”. Hot and dry conditions associated with a strong El Niño left experts wondering if a record agricultural drought was in the works. The lack of contingency planning for drought events in the region results from limited finan- cial resources, inadequate understanding of drought impacts, and poor coordination among govern - ment agen cies. The 2018–20 Southern Africa drought is an ongoing period of drought taking place in Southern Africa.The drought began in late October 2018, and is negatively affecting food security in the region. Drought Harms Corn Crops in Southern Africa, Food Shortages in the Greater Horn of Africa, NASA Goddard Space Most of South Africa is suffering from one of the worst droughts in over 30 years. It has already been adopted in South Africa. Meteorologists define drought as a prolonged duration without rain. Zimbabwe solar-irrigated farms face a new threat: hungry elephants Lungelo Ndhlovu “Therefore, we need adequate science policies to drive scientific innovations. Drought However, some African countries still need to revise their legislative policies before their farmers can gain access to these improved, climate-smart crops. Droughts have been occurring persistently in southern African dryland regions for over a century. According to the World Food Program, southern Africa has received normal rainfall in just one of the past five growing seasons. Most of the economic impacts of drought are associated with agriculture and the income generated from crops. Drought-stressed vegetation reflects more visible light and less infrared than healthy green vegetation, and this can be detected by satellites. Every human being, every community, instinctively wants a hand up, not a handout.”. Story by Michael Carlowicz. Between October 2019 and March 2020, an estimated 430,000 people are facing severe acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+) and require urgent humanitarian action. Satellite images confirm that the water situation in the region is serious. Livestock farmers in southern Africa have suffered losses due to starvation and to early culling of herds forced by shortages of water and feed. Lenganji Sikapizye is a 2019 Alliance for Science Global Leadership Fellow from Zambia. Southern Africa Faces Unprecedented Drought and Food Shortages. The map above depicts anomalies in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of how plants absorb visible light and reflect infrared light. Southern Africa is particularly susceptible to climate variability and drought and is increasingly being threatened by desertification processes, degradation of land and water resources and loss of biodiversity.

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