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GDO Analytical Report - Drought in Zimbabwe, Zambia and south Mozambique - February 2020

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Executive summary

  • Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique and parts of Zambia are facing an extreme rainfall deficit, after a scarce 2018/2019 wet season, combined with a very poor first half of the current season. Some areas received only 20% of the total precipitation expected in a year, with many more at a mere 50%.

  • Food insecurity is already widespread and the low yield expectations for the 2020 harvest loom over the next months. Food prices are increasing. In addition, water supply is intermittent and unsafe. Major damages to the economy of the involved countries are reported, also in relation to the low water level at the Kariba dam that is threatening power supply to both Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • The outlooks for February and up to April overall predict a normal second half of the rainy season, however insufficient to offset the cumulated deficits in the first half. Indeed, given the strong precipitation seasonality over the region, a multi-month long water deficit may be expected.

This document builds on the previous reports about southern Africa, please refer to them for more insight on the drought and earlier reported impacts.