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Tanzania: Food Insecurity (Drought) - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF Operation MDRTZ030

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Since 14th January 2022, several media outlets have reported a high rate of animal death which has drawn attention to the humanitarian actors and government. ITV media - 20.00hrs news bulletin, 14/01/2022, reported that more than 62,000 animals have died as a result of the drought. As of 18 January 2022, TRCS has received calls from local government councillors (see picture 1 below) requesting immediate support referring to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) support conducted in the Kiteto district two years ago.

Before the above, the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) in October 2021, projected the Climate Outlook for November 2021 – April 2022 (NDJFMA) rainfall season. The outlook was prepared in consultation with stakeholders (UNICEF, WFP, TRCS, Tanzania Christian Refugee Service, government ministries and World Vision) from various sectors who provided an actionable recommendation to address expected impacts. The climate systems and outlook for Msimu rains, cover the unimodal areas (western, central, south-western highlands, southern, southern coast and southern parts of Morogoro region) for November 2021 – April 2022.

In response to the TMA outlook, the Government of Tanzania through the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Security Analysis System also known in Swahili as ‘Mfumo wa Uchambuzi wa Uhakika wa Chakula na Lishe’ (acronym MUCHALI) conducted a livelihood-based integrated and comprehensive food and nutrition security analysis, reporting on the status and providing strategic recommendations and proposing interventions for decision-makers at different levels in between November and December 2021. MUCHALI team draws together key actors and expertise from multiple stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Higher Learning Institutions. Others include United Nations Agencies, International Organizations and the Private Sector. The report is yet to be shared.

On the other hand, advisories and early warnings have been provided to various weather-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and food security, livestock and fisheries, natural resources, wildlife and tourism, energy and water, transport (land, marine and aviation), local authorities, health, private and disaster management unit.

The prolonged drought period has persisted in the Northern part of the country affecting more than 10 semi-arid districts in Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions. In the said Regions, the predicted drought has lasted for more than 4 months now which has caused livelihood impact to more than 2 million people.

Despite Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions having wet areas, some of the areas in the regions are highly affected by lack of water and pastures for livestock, food shortages and it is vulnerable to food insecurity at the household level which affects the nutritional status. A manifestation of a high dependence on unreliable rain-fed agricultural production for both crop and livestock which in most cases has resulted in livestock deaths at the household level from December 2021 to date.

The ongoing drought has affected crop growth, reduced the availability of water and pasture for livestock. Some pastoralists coped with the situation and tried to migrate to other areas looking for water and pasture, but still unsustainable as most of the areas are facing the same challenge. Food insecurity has been observed in all regions with below normal rainfall. People are selling their food stocks to carter for family needs. Animals’ health has deteriorated with increasing deaths as a result of the drought, many people have been impoverished due to the death of their livestock. The prices of food commodities have increased due to high local demand and reduced supply.

The Climate Outlook for November 2021 – April 2022 (NDJFMA) Rainfall Season indicates that rains are likely to be below normal to normal over some regions in the country. Moreover, normal to below normal rains are expected over Njombe, Ruvuma, Lindi, Mtwara and the southern part of Morogoro regions. It should be noted that events of heavy and short duration rainfall might occur even over areas with below normal rainfall conditions. Water levels in rivers, reservoirs and a decrease in aquifer recharge is likely to occur in areas where below normal rainfall is expected. From November 2021 to January 2022, prolonged periods of dry spells have been witnessed and a slight increase in rainfall activities is expected in March 2022.