Zimbabwe is among the 25 high-risk countries globally to be negatively affected by El Nino.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe, Mr Bishow Parajuli, has urged Government and its partners to carefully monitor the weather forecast and take precautionary measures to avert the impact of El Nino that has been forecast this farming season.
The National Climate Outlook Forum (NACOF) met recently and forecast normal to below normal rainfall across the country.
Speaking at a High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Food and Nutrition Security Forum organised by the Office of the President and Cabinet in Harare last week, Mr Parajuli said Zimbabwe was among the 25 high-risk countries globally to be negatively affected by El Nino.
“The National Climate Outlook Forum (NACOF) convened a couple of months ago and forecasted normal to below normal rainfall across Zimbabwe from October 2018 to March 2019, with potential negative impact on harvest in 2019,” he said.
“According to the Global El Nino Southern Oscillation Analysis Cell, Zimbabwe is one of the 25 high-risk countries globally, to be negatively impacted by a possible El Nino. This points to the need for the Government and its partners to carefully monitor the national level forecast in the coming weeks and months.
“Today, we will have an opportunity to hear from the Met Department on the forecast, as well as hydrology update from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.”
Mr Parajuli said Zimbabwe should brace for food insecurity during the 2018-19 farming season.
“Harvest in 2018 saw a decline in average smallholder household cereal production by 33 percent compared to 2017 and Zimbabwe is expecting high level of food insecurity in both rural and urban areas during the 2018-19 lean season,” he said.
Mr Parajuli pledged the UN’s support.
“To respond to the food security needs during the upcoming lean season, UN agencies will be supporting the Government with food assistance targeting the most vulnerable populations,” he said.
In his address, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (responsible for implementation, monitoring and evaluation) Mr Justin Mupamhanga said food and nutrition insecurity manifests itself in various ways in different districts and regions.
“Food and nutrition insecurity manifests itself in various ways in different districts and regions and has a variety of complex interdependent underlying causes,” he said.
“These range from problems and factors at local to national levels and from social security related issues to developmental issues.”
Mr Mupamhanga said according to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) 2018 rural and urban livelihood report, over two million people in rural areas and 1,5 million people in urban areas were food insecure.
“His Excellency the President Cde ED Mnangagwa has outlined Vision 2030 that will see Zimbabwe become an upper middle income country by 2030,” he said. “This will require upliftment of every citizen’s livelihood to eliminate poverty.
“The High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Food and Nutrition Security Forum is critical towards enhanced shared understanding of the country’s food and nutrition insecurity, its causes and potential remedies thereby helping policy makers to look forward to emerging issues.”