Remotely Monitored Country
Remote Monitoring Report

Below-average rainfall worsens pastoral conditions in the south

February 2015
2015-Q1-1-1-AO-en

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Even though there was improvement in rainfall frequency, the cumulative rainfall in the central and south-central region is still below average. Additionally, in much of the southern region vegetation appears to be deteriorating and water for animals is decreasing. This might prove to be detrimental to pastoralists that choose not to move their animals earlier this season. 

  • Train services from Namibe to Cuando-Cubango Provinces have restarted and this is helping restore the supply of goods to Lubango. The normalization of train services coupled with governmental price restrictions for selected food commodities and transport are expected to help improve food access to poor households by reducing price increases for basic food.

  • The scarcity of foreign currency in local markets and the gradual devaluation of the Kwanza are further complicating the process of importing goods during the lean season. Although train services have resumed, there is still a scarcity of cereal supplies and this combined with the current macroeconomic environment is pushing up prices in most of the country. This situation might constrain access to food for poor households. 

  • Current acute food insecurity outcomes among the majority of poor households is Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and these outcomes are expected to continue through March. However, we expect these outcomes to improve from April to June and to become Minimal (IPC Phase 1). 

Zone Current Anomalies Projected Anomalies
Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Foreign exchange reserves are at a low and this is negatively affecting the acquisition of spare parts for the irrigation pumps thus affecting negatively horticulture production  Lower horticultural production might decrease income earning opportunities for the poorest as well as the availability of vegetables in markets in the near future. 

 

Projected Outlook Through June 2015

National

The high-producing provinces of Huambo and Bié (located in the Central Highlands or Planalto) experienced a brief interruption of the rains, but rainfall restarted in late January and it has been raining heavily in both provinces since then. Unfortunately this increase in rain volume has led to the spoilage of most of the bean crop for the 1st season in Huambo and Bié. Most households in these areas are already planning for the next season’s planting, which starts in mid-February. Other types of crops have been negatively affected by the heavy rainfall since late January.

Comparatively, food prices have stayed at the same levels as last month, with the exception of beans that increased by 33 percent since last month in Huila and Huambo Provinces. One of the factors contributing to the abrupt increase in bean prices is the decreased availability due to spoilage in the fields. Although train services have restarted, traders are still preferring to use trucks due to the relatively faster travel times; in an effort to ease population fears about the impact of the higher fuel prices, the government is presetting prices for certain commodities in an attempt to keep prices down in the main urban areas.

Areas of Concern: Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Livelihood zone (parts of Cunene and Namibe Provinces)

In Namibe, the absence of rain continues to be of serious concern and very detrimental for the agricultural season. The alternative practice of cultivating horticultural products under irrigation is starting to gradually face some challenges due to the scarcity of spare parts for irrigation pumps being used in the area. Additionally, the continuous dry spell is contributing to the deterioration of propitious conditions for cattle in the province. Consequently, it is believed that most households will start to consider selling cattle in order to avoid losing animals, which might prove detrimental to their livelihoods in the future.

In Cunene, after a dry spell in December and early January, rains restarted in late January and have been more or less regular, thus helping keep the pasture and water for animals in sufficient amounts. However, it is reported that the poor distribution of rains from mid-December through the 3rd week of January, damaged the crops of many smallholder farmers. As a result, there are reports of the distribution of early ripening seeds to some households that prepared their land again, and planted again in order to take advantage of these late rains. The success of the distribution of early ripening seeds might help to increase the availability of cereal and to improve livelihood conditions for the poorest households in the area.

ABOUT REMOTE MONITORING

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. For more information click here.

 

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.