7 February 2019

Mozambique: Low Rainfall in South Causing Water and Food Shortages

Low rainfall in the south of Mozambique during this rainy season means that the Pequenos Libombos dam, which supplies Maputo, is only 20% full, and Maputo and Matola will only receive water on alternate days. Irrigation water for farmers will also be cut. (O Pais 31 Jan) Boreholes promised after the last drought have been promised again. But the situation is likely to be permanent, with all climate change forecasts predicting a fall in rainfall in Mozambique south of the River Save.

The US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has warned that southern Mozambique and parts of the centre of the country are facing a food crisis due to December’s abnormally high temperatures and late rains. FEWS NET notes that the agricultural season began 40 days late, with just 53% of planned planting in the south taking place in December. Humanitarian aid in January reached 167,000 people taking many areas of Gaza out of the crisis category. (AIM En 4 Feb)

The water shortage has put electricity company EDM on ‘red alert’, in particular regarding the Corumana Dam hydropower plant. The dam on the Sabie River is only 36% full and can now only produce half of its 25 megawatt normal capacity.

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