Zambia national disaster

Zambia Declares National Disaster: Battling Drought, Cholera, and Power Shortages

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema declared a national disaster and emergency due to the severe drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon, which worsens harsh weather conditions attributed to climate change. The drought has devastated food production and power generation, and the country is struggling to recover from a recent cholera epidemic. The El Nino phenomenon is worsening harsh weather conditions in southern Africa, and the country is expected to continue until March, affecting over a million agricultural households.

The drought has destroyed about 1 million hectares of the 2.2 million hectares planted in corn, the staple crop. The country plans to increase food imports and mobilize UN agencies and local businesses to help. Electricity production is also affected, with the country expecting a deficit of around 430 megawatts, potentially reaching 520 megawatts by December. To cope with this situation, the country will import electricity and ration the supply for its approximately 20 million inhabitants.

Zambia was recently hit by one of its worst outbreaks of cholera, which killed more than 400 people and infected more than 10,000. Some Zambians have invented songs calling the coronavirus and cholera epidemics, as well as the current drought, a “triple tragedy.” The United States Agency for International Development estimates that 20 million people in Africa Australia will need food aid between January and March. Many people living in areas of greatest concern, such as Zimbabwe, southern Malawi, parts of Mozambique, and southern Madagascar, will not be able to feed themselves until the start of 2025 due to El Niño.

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