Zambia: Drought declared “national emergency” Zambia: Drought declared “national emergency”

Zambia: Drought declared “national emergency”

Zambia: Drought declared “national emergency”

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on Thursday declared a drought declaration as a national disaster and emergency.

The country is experiencing drought conditions in 84 of its 116 districts . The rainy season, which usually lasts from October to March, ended at the end of January this year.

Crops on fully seeded farms were destroyed by drought.

“I have eight hectares of corn and two or three hectares of peanuts, but since there is no rain, the corn and peanuts are dead,” revealed farmer Edner Soko. 

This year, maize, a staple food crop that requires regular rains, failed to mature and a large portion of smallholder farmers were unable to harvest their crops this year.

These farmers depend on these crops for their livelihood and worry about not having income to meet their basic needs.

"Since we have no more food, almost the whole of Zambia, especially the south and east, the west, has nothing left. Most of the time the news tells us that the northern part of Zambia at least gets some rain. But on this side of Zambia, I think it was quite right for the President to declare that this is a national disaster, it really is a national disaster." , explained farmer Jacob Soko. 

Nearly 70% of Zambians rely on small-scale farming for their basic food.

Yotam Mkandawire, executive secretary of the Grain Traders Association of Zambia, said the country was food secure "probably until the end of the next harvest.

"We are still food secure as a country, probably until the end of the next harvest, but where we might have a problem is after the next harvest. That's when we "We should expect the country to really respond to the situation we are currently experiencing." said Yotam Mkandawire Executive Secretary of the Grain Traders Association of Zambia. 

Various measures have been put in place to mitigate the effects of drought, which affects not only food security but also energy production.

The Zambian president has asked for help from the international community to deal with this situation.

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