10 January 2019

Mozambique: Terror Attacks Subject Mozambicans to Hunger

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Maputo — ATTACKS by suspected armed Islamists in northern Mozambique are feared to hinder agricultural production in the drought-prone Southern African country.

This adds to an already worrying situation presented by delayed, below-average and erratic rainfall as well inclement weather characterised by lightning causing damage to infrastructure and killing of at least ten people.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) expressed bigger concern at the armed attacks in the Cabo Delgado Province.

It said the continuation of sporadic attacks was likely and expected to continue disrupting farming activities of the affected households.

"Should this occur, some households would likely lose the opportunity to produce their own food," the think-tank stated.

At least 39 people have been killed and more than 1 000 displaced since May 2018 following the terror by the group known locally as both Al-Sunna wa Jama'a and Al-Shabaab.

Worsening water levels in the major Pequenos Libombos dam, which is only 22 percent full, is forcing authorities to continue restrictions on irrigation and drinking water to major southern cities including Maputo, Matola and Boane.

Based on estimates by FEWS NET, there are currently an estimated 800 000 people facing crisis or worse outcomes, specifically in the semiarid areas of Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Tete and Sofala provinces in terms of food access.

In the conflict-prone Cabo Delgado, some households forced to abandon their homes have restricted access to typical sources of food, income and livelihood assets.

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