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Torrential rains hinder agricultural activities in the south

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Angola
  • March 2015
Torrential rains hinder agricultural activities in the south

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through June 2015
  • Key Messages
    • Heavy rainfall is affecting most of the country by causing crop damage and suspending cropping activities. These activities are necessary to sustainably support livelihoods, especially for the poorest households.

    • Fuel price increases continue to push up food prices even as governmental price restrictions continue and train services in Huambo and Huila have returned to normal.  

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




    Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum

    Normal to above-normal rainfall over the past month in Huila is increasing the river levels in most of Namibe, thus inhibiting agricultural activities and transport into rural areas of Namibe.

    Poor access to rural areas because of the flooding and heavy rainfall may contribute to low market supplies between April and May. These low food supplies could constrain poor household food access during that period.

    Coastal Fishing, Horticulture, and Non-farm Income

    The sudden surge in heavy rains has resulted in the destruction of homes and the displacement of many households.

    Displaced households that have lost their livelihoods might permanently relocate to other nearby areas in search of income opportunities, while depending on food assistance for the next 3-6 months.

    Projected Outlook through June 2015
    • Although there have been some periods of dryness in the high producing areas of the central provinces, the agricultural season is progressing as expected in most of the country. In February mixed beans crops in the central provinces were negatively affected by the low rainfall, but it is expected that the rest of the bean producing areas in parts of Planalto will make up for this yield loss. Given the areas planted for most crops, and average cumulative rainfall, the main harvest is expected to be higher than the average levels obtained in the past. Additionally, since it has been raining continuously in central provinces, it is possible that areas replanted will go on to yield a good harvest also.
    • Comparatively, prices of cassava, Irish and sweet potatoes, mixed beans, and maize have all increased in the last month in all three monitored provinces (Luanda, Huambo, and Huila). As expected, prices in Luanda have increased more, on average, as compared to the prices in the other provinces. On average the prices of maize and beans have increased by 1 and 17 percent, respectively, and are the highest observed increases. It is believed that besides the normal scarcity of food supplies around this lean period and the continuing impact of the rising fuel prices, the recent torrential rains have increased fears of a poor harvest and possibly caused some speculation.
    Areas of Concern: Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Livelihood zone (parts of Cunene and Namibe Provinces) and Coastal Fishing, Horticulture, and Non-farm Income
    • In Lobito, after a long period of dryness, torrential rains have affected much of the region with catastrophic results, especially for the poorer householders. The extremely high volumes of water overwhelmed most horticulture fields and washed inputs out towards the sea. The government has already made emergency funding available (approximately USD $1 million) to initially help acquire food and other basic inputs for the most affected households. It is expected that the food and other assistance (i.e. tents, blankets, cooking kits, clothes, etc.) will continue to support these households until they are able to sustainably manage their livelihoods.
    • In Namibe, rainfall started to finally fall with some consistency and volumes higher than average. Last month, the city of Namibe received around 100 mm of rain; however, at this stage this rainfall is considered a little late for most of the crops.  Alternatively, these rains have had a positive impact on the pasture conditions and increased the amount of drinking water available for animals. As a consequence, many pastoralist households are deciding not to sell their cattle, translating into higher prices for the few available animals in the market.
    • In Cunene, the sporadic rains are continuing to help keep pastures in relatively good condition and to provide acceptable water supplies for animals. Even though early ripening seeds were distributed, the success of these crops is deemed questionable due to the inconsistency behavior of the rainfall in the areas combined with very few other sources of the water for irrigation of these crops. 
    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2


    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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