from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA – HEAVY rain and floods are threatening the already fragile food security situation in Zambia.
Floods come at a time Zambia is experiencing the worst drought since 1981.
Gwembe and Siavonga districts in the south are among the hardest-hit by the recent rains. Mambwe and Lumezi districts in the east, as well as the country’s capital, Lusaka, faced flash floods earlier in January.
Before the floods, more than 2,3 million people were expected to be severely food insecure during the lean season from October 2019 to March 2020, with at least 430 000 of them in serious need.
The situation could deteriorate in the days ahead, with Zambia expected to experience heavy rains, according to the country’s Meteorological Department.
A delegation led by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DDMU), Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Infrastructure is planning to assess the extent of damage in the affected areas.
Since the beginning of January, DMMU has been distributing food, tents and water treatment chemicals for the affected population.
Humanitarian organisations were already providing life-saving assistance due to drought in some of the areas affected by the floods, especially in southern and western Zambia.
Earlier this month, heavy rains left the main hospital in the capital, Lusaka, completely flooded.
This led to the evacuation of some patients.
In the eastern Mambwe district, nearly 300 families were displaced by floods in the first week of January.
Around 60 families were displaced in the neighbouring Lumezi district.
Some bridges have been submerged in affected in areas.
– CAJ News