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The Nyimba Case

In the 2023/2024 season Government of Zambia declared the drought situation that Zambia has been experiencing a national emergency and disaster. In his address, President Hichilema indicated that this drought has devastating consequences on many critical sectors such as agriculture, water availability, and energy supply, risking our national food security and livelihoods of millions of our people.


The dry spells have affected 84 districts in Lusaka, Central, Copperbelt eastern, north-western, western, and southern provinces. at national level the estimated planted area for maize is 2.2 million hectares and of this, approximately 1 million hectares has been destroyed affecting over affecting over 1 million of our farming households. equally affected is the energy sector that is expected to have a deficit of around 430 megawatts of electricity, potentially reaching more than 520 megawatts by December 2024.


The drought conditions have also affected the availability of both ground and surface water, pasture for livestock and wildlife and has potential to increase the incidence of human and animal conflict, as well as disease. the drought compounds the challenges the country was already facing, such as the covid-19 pandemic, it is also diverting resources initially intended for accelerating economic and social development.


Nyalungwe Chiefdom in Eastern province of Zambia is among the heavily affected areas with the drought. The villages of T: Sichilunzi, Mikwaya, Kwa Malipa, Sivili, Chimuna, Katyola, Mutuulumwale, Mwalanga Mwala, Paloba Njoka, Mutuutumali, Mikwala, Sirgen, Peturo, Kausa, Nyamalila, Tizolo, Nyaigwele, Chusi, Kantukilo, Musonda, Lamek, Chilu, Muzenge, Kanavette, Nyalugwe and Kausausamula have experienced divastating impacts. These impacts range from   access and availability of  food, extreme hunger, loss of seed resources, lack of pasture for animals, drying of water wells, loss of livelihoods.  The heavy reliance on maize production is one of the major factors contributing to the already difficult situation. Maize is one of the severely affected crops.


Human dignity has been lost as people are mot able to feed themselves, and government response measures have not had any positive impacts for the community.

 

The communities recommend a change in the food systems to move away from dependency on maize to other climate resilient crops such as sorghum, millet, cassava. The farmer Input Support Programme and the Food Reserve Agency should be used to promote the transformation of the country’s food system. Government should put in place strong public response strategy on climate related impact.

  



 

Most villages have only one borehole used to fetch water against a population of 50  to 102 households.

 

 


 

 

  FIAN Zambia team walking in the dried river, Mikwala Village, Mombe Ward.  

 



 

Image of FIAN Zambia member interviewing one of the farmers who has been living in a collapsed house for more than 5 years. Due to droughts, she has not been able to farm or sell any farm produce.

 

  



  

Majority of the women and children fetch water from shallow wells which they use for domestic use.


FIAN Zambia captured the voices of the communities and used media to engage policy makers to address the drought crisis. On social media, campaigns such as Food beyond maize and drought response were also used to advocate for the communities right to food, nutrition and water.


  1. Hot breakfast show aired on Hot FM Radio station. Link.

  2. Hot FM news clip Link.

  3. News clip prime tv Link.

  4. Advocacy of Nyimba case on Hot FM. Link.

  5. Press statements. On the 1st and 7th March 2024, FIAN Zambia issued press statements on droughts. The statement was disseminated through various media houses in country wide. The statement was also distributed to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Governance, Committee on Agriculture, Land, and Natural Resources and the Republican President of Zambia. FIAN Zambia calls government to address drought crisis. Link.

 

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