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A sharp deterioration in pastoral conditions in the country’s Sahelian zone

  • Food Security Outlook Update
  • Chad
  • April 2018
A sharp deterioration in pastoral conditions in the country’s Sahelian zone

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • The pastoral situation has significantly deteriorated and is close to its lowest level. The fodder deficit has become more pronounced and watering holes are scarce, affecting livestock body condition. The income generated by selling livestock has declined sharply, thus limiting pastoral households’ access to the market. Their food consumption has dropped, and they are consequently experiencing Stressed food insecurity (IPC Phase 2).

    • Around Lake Chad, the recent conflict continues to disrupt household livelihoods and the fluidity of trade with other markets. Off-season harvests and produce flows are increasing availability of produce on the markets. However, demand is low compared with a normal year due to the national economic climate. As such, the region remains at Crisis level (IPC Phase 3).

    • The current level of household cereal stocks in the Sahelian zone is low and will be almost entirely depleted by June. This will force most households to buy from the markets, using income from activities such as selling small ruminants, poultry and wood. They will experience a consumption deficit from June, putting them at Crisis level (IPC Phase 3).

    • Outside of the pastoral and agropastoral areas and part of the Sudanian zone (Moyen Chari, Mandoul and Tandjilé Est), which experienced Stressed food insecurity in April and May, and will then be at Crisis level from June through September (apart from Lake Chad, which will remain in Crisis from April through September), most of the country’s poor households are able to meet their basic needs and will remain at a Minimal level of food insecurity between April and September.



    Pastoral resources

    The deterioration in the pastoral situation in Kanem, Bahr El Ghazal, Batha and Hadjer Lamis has escalated due to the combined effect of livestock pressure, the wind and termites, which are accelerating the deterioration of the pasture and straw. Around Lake Chad, the dry-land pasture is totally exhausted and the pasture on the islands cannot be utilized to full effect because of Boko Haram-related security issues.

    Agricultural conditions

    Household activity in the Lake Chad area centers on harvesting maize from the cold off-season. Maize prices on the Bol market were stable from March to April, but this will not last long. The harvesting of market garden produce will continue until the end of the month. Preparations for the rainfed agricultural campaign and maintaining the land for the third season are under way.

    Cereal markets

    Cereal markets are well stocked apart from the Lake Chad area. The movement of traders and produce is being disrupted by conflict, particularly with Nigeria. Prices for the moment are stable on the Bol market because of the current maize harvest but could quickly rise. As regards cereal volume, the quantities available on the market are low compared with an average year, owing to economic conditions and the harvesting of flood recession crops (berbere) estimated to be slightly down.

    Household cereal stocks

    A drop in cereal stocks has been recorded due to low cereal production levels in the food deficit regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Kanem, Lac, Wadi Fira and Batha. In Guéra, the available stocks will only meet needs until late June instead of August. In Mangalmé, a larger number of heads of household (60 percent instead of the usual 10-15 percent) has migrated in December, rather than January or February. Some are starting to return from the Salamat region with cereals paid for in kind during the berbere harvests.

    Current food situation

    Given the low level of household stocks, fodder deficits and low household purchasing power related to a drop in livestock prices, the food situation for most households in the Sahelian zone and some in the Sudanian zone (the Moyen Chari and Mandoul regions and the Tandjilé Est department) is Stressed (IPC Phase 2), apart from Lake Chad, which remains in a Crisis situation (IPC Phase 3) because of the conflict. In the Lake Chad area, the recent conflicts in mid-April, the drop in purchasing power and the reduction in food stocks mean that close to 175,000 people are continuing to experience difficulties in meeting their basic food needs.


    The current situation has not affected most of the assumptions used for the projected FEWS NET scenario for February through September 2018.


    The recent renewed hostilities (mid-April 2018) around Lake Chad are continuing to increase the displaced population and the number of returning refugees. This situation will keep Lake Chad in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until late September. The low income generated by the sale of firewood, agricultural produce and fish is also contributing to the food difficulties, already worsened by the sheer number of returning refugees. The economic crisis and scarce job opportunities in neighboring countries will mean that the usual remittances cannot be sent to mitigate poor households’ food consumption deficits. The other regions will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until May 2018. In the regions of Wadi Fira, Batha Kanem and Bahr el Ghazal, a drop in stocks has been recorded due to low cereal production levels. Moreover, poor and very poor households’ purchasing power has decreased because of the drop in the price of livestock caused by the animals’ poor body condition and the halt in exports. However, food consumption among poor households in Lac, Bahr el Ghazal, Batha, Wadi Fira, Kanem and part of Guéra (Mangalmé) will decrease between June and September 2018 owing to stock shortages and low incomes. Households will be faced with food consumption deficits and will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).

    This Food Security Outlook Update provides an analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography over the next six months. Learn more here.

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