By DERRICK SINJELA, HENRY CHUNZA and SAEED SIMON BANDA
ACCORDING to the 2022 In-depth Vulnerability and Needs Assessment Survey conducted in June 2022, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) National Coordinator, Dr. Gabriel Pollen says identified affected by the floods/dry spells are Agriculture and Food Security and nutrition, Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
Dr. Pollen says the key drivers of the vulnerability between December 2021 and March 2022 were flooding experienced, dry spells, pest outbreaks such as the Fall Army Worms and stock borers.
Dr. Pollen says during the projected period, between October 2022 and March 2023, the food insecurity in about fifty hotspot districts is expected to worsen with about 1.95 million people requiring urgent humanitarian action to reduce food gaps, protect and restore livelihoods and prevent acute malnutrition during the lean period.
Dr. Pollen says according to the report from the survey, a total of 1.9 million people or 308,687 households from the fifty districts will require support for the period of six months from October, 2022 to March 2023.
Dr. Pollen says from the 50 districts earmarked to receive humanitarian support, a total of 12 districts will be on Emergency Cash Transfer programme as recommended by the National Disaster Management Council leaving 38 districts on in-kind food distribution programme.
Dr. Pollen says DMMU has also requested the Food Reserve Agency to do community sales in 31 districts to make the grain available for those who will receive the Emergency Cash Transfer.
Dr. Pollen says so far, the Treasury has released funds to DMMU to bolster preparedness and response to undertake anticipatory actions in view of the 2022/23 rainfall season which is projected to be characterised by floods and dry spells as indicated in the 2022 National Contingency Plan and the recovery action plan for 2022/23.
Dr. Pollen says as projected by the Zambian Meteorological Department in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, the 2022/2023 rainfall season which coincides with the projected period has been forecasted to be normal in most of Southern Africa, hence it is expected that poor households will rely more on wage employment opportunities for food and income.
Dr. Pollen says flooding is also expected to occur especially in flood-prone areas in the north and north eastern parts of the country thereby affecting most of the households that live in those areas.