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Poor rainfall delays relief from drought-induced Stressed food security conditions in the south

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Angola
  • January 2014
Poor rainfall delays relief from drought-induced Stressed food security conditions in the south

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  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JUNE 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Seasonal rainfall has not improved as forecasted. The areas worst affected by drought (mostly Namibe and Cunene Provinces) are yet to receive rains with some regularity. Thus, FEWS NET’s projected improvement of both pastures and the availability of drinking water for cattle has yet to materialize. Consequently, cattle body conditions are not improving and the expected gradual return of pastoralists to their areas of origin will be pushed back further.
    • The continuation of water deficits, mostly felt in the Southern livestock livelihood zone, could reverse transhumance patterns by increasing the exodus of the remaining poor households. The migration of households to Huila Province might increase agricultural labor supply competition, and this could result in lower labor wages earned and less income remitted.
    • Poor households in the Southern livestock livelihood zone continue to depend primarily on government food assistance, imports from Namibia, and supplies from neighboring Huila Province. Thus, Namibe and Cunene provinces are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food security outcomes through June. The Government of Angola has revised its food assistance program and currently plans to gradually assist six worst affected Provinces up to July 2014.
    ZoneCurrent anomaliesprojected anomalies
    Southern Livestock, Millet and SorghumLate onset and poor distribution of rains continue to worsen drought-induced Stressed conditions. Rain deficits are negatively affecting pasture availability and/or drinking water for cattle. Therefore, most cattle in the region are still in poor condition and vulnerable to diseases.Downgraded forecasts might push the lean season back further and continued dryness could force some remaining households to leave their areas of origin and go to transhumance areas.
    Southern Livestock, Millet and SorghumLow labor availability due to the absence of pastoralists couple with late and erratic rainfall will reduce the volume of expected green harvest.The gradual return of the pastoralists to their homesteads might be pushed back due to continuing dry conditions in their areas of origin. This might extend the lean season and introduce complications for food assistance programming. 

     


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH JUNE 2014

    National

    • According to the regional assumptions and the local observed conditions, the updated rainfall forecast by SARCOF shows a change in rainfall patterns in some parts of the country.

    • Currently there is a bimodal forecast for the country and normal to above normal rainfall patterns are expected in the majority of the country. This is expected to normalize agricultural production in those areas in the northern and central provinces that received agricultural inputs and prepared the land on time. Therefore, with the normalization of rainfall in northern Huila Province, there is going to be a gradual increase in farm labor until it reaches its peak demand around late April to mid-July. These remittances are expected to be one important source of the income for poor households in the Southern Livestock, Sorghum, and Millet livelihood zone (zone 3), especially those in the south-central Namibe and northeastern Cunene Provinces.

    • Between January and June, it is expected that Namibe and Cunene Provinces will gradually increase their import of maize meal from Namibia and  maize, sorghum, and millet grain from Huila Province due to lower than expected production from Namibe and Cunene Provinces. The import of this staple food, coupled with the projected increase in food assistance by the government, and the national efforts to boost production of maize in Malanje and Huambo Provinces might help to maintain downward pressure on market price trends.

    Area of Concern: The Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Livelihood zone

    • The area of concern, zone 3, has a downgraded forecast and according to key informants in the region and the national meteorological services, there is currently an increased chance of normal to below normal rainfall. 

    • Rains in zone 3 have been delayed for about 20 days in central and south Namibe and eastern and southern parts of Cunene Provinces. This rain deficit and associated erratic distribution has neither facilitated the regeneration of vegetation cover nor replenished drinking water for cattle in the areas most affected by the drought in the previous seasons. This situation has not created enough confidence for pastoralists to return to their homesteads on time and to perform land preparation activities for the agricultural season

    • While it was expected that the green harvest will be reduced, continued rain deficits might further lower the quantity to be harvested in the months of January and February.

    • The continued dry spell, exacerbated by the erratic rainfall, is negatively influencing access to safe human drinking water and consequently food utilization since most poor households are carrying out food preparation using unsanitary water.

    • The transhumance destinations surrounding zone 3 are all receiving relatively more rain than the areas in zone 3. Therefore, pastoralists and their cattle stand to benefit more if they stay in these transhumance areas a little bit longer.  The projected gradual return of households in transhumance is more likely to be pushed back from the December-January period to early March and onwards.

    • Risk adverse poor households in this area are expected to continue depending on the staple food supplies from Huila and government food assistance for their daily needs for the rest of the lean season. This situation will be more pronounced in Namibe and Cunene and less pronounced in Cuando Cubango. Thus, it is expected that households in zone 3 of Namibe and Cunene will continue facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food security, while Cuando Cubango will face Minimal acute food security Phase (IPC 1!) through June.

    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. 

     

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Source:

    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.

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