Zimbabwe is facing the grim prospect of severe food shortages after it received the lowest rainfall amounts in 40 years.
According to regional hunger watchdog, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), the drought will threaten the food security of at least 5 million people in Zimbabwe. The FEWS NET report reads in part:
The Sadc February Agromet update preliminary analysis suggests that the rainfall totals from October – January may have been amongst the lowest in 40 years over central and western parts of Zimbabwe.
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… The only areas to receive normal rainfall this season include parts of the Mashonaland Provinces, northern Midlands Province and extreme southern areas.
In typical deficit southern, eastern, western and extreme northern areas, most poor households will produce enough crops for two-three months of food supplies. The prices of grain and maize meal are expected to remain above average during this period, decreasing poor household purchasing power.
Seasonal activities like gardening will be affected by anticipated water shortages. Most households are expected to engage in livelihoods and consumption coping strategies in response to food gaps experienced.