National emergency declared as Swaziland drought intensifies

The drought in Swaziland began in 2014 as a result of the El Nino weather condition; its recent worsening has led the government of Swaziland to declare a national emergency. 

The Prime Minister, Dr B Sibusio Dlamini, said “The negative impact of the drought has led to seriously diminished water availability for crop production, human consumption and livestock sustenance. At the present time, we count the loss of around 40,000 head of cattle, and have to report a serious food and water vulnerability currently experienced by approximately 300,000 of our people, which is around 25 per cent of the population.”

“The UN food agency is already feeding more than 200,000 Swazis as part of its large emergency operation in Southern Africa,” the Anglican mission agency United Society said.

The managing director of Luyengo Fresh Produce, Mr Tiekie de Beer, told United Society: “The planting season in Swaziland for commercial and subsistence farmers is in November and December. Hardly anything was planted last year due to the severe drought conditions.''

Tiekie expects that only about 10 per cent of the normal requirement will be harvested. 

Source: episcopaldigitalnetwork.com

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