#Drought and commercial #cattle #farming exposes tens of thousands to devastating #hunger in #Angola
The end of cattle’s paradise: How diversion of land for ranches eroded food security in the Gambos calls on the Angolan government to immediately provide emergency food assistance to the communities facing hunger, declare a moratorium on land grants, and appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate how 46 commercial farms ended up with two-thirds of the best grazing land in Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela since the end of civil war in 2002.
“The current drought in Angola has exposed the devastating impact of commercial cattle farming on communities in Gambos. Traditional cattle farmers have lost their best grazing land and now watch helplessly as their children and families go to bed on empty stomachs,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“The government has failed to protect the rights of these communities – in particular, their right to food. They have been left to scratch a living from infertile, unproductive land – and now as the drought tightens its grip – they have simply been left with nothing to eat.”
The report shows that hunger and starvation are rife among the Vanyaneke and Ovaherero people living in the Gambos. Colloquially this region is known as Angola’s “milk region” because cattle rearing and milk production have been central to the economy and way of life of people here.
While the semi-arid Gambos region is prone to cyclical droughts, Amnesty International found that traditional cattle breeders and their families are struggling to produce food for themselves after communal grazing land, which once mitigated against the impact of drought, was allocated by the government to commercial cattle farmers.
As a result, pastoralists are left with insufficient and unproductive land for growing food and grazing their cattle. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and meat production is the main source of their livelihoods.
Families told Amnesty International researchers that the situation is now so dire that they had resorted to eating wild leaves. Many said they suffer with sickness and diarrhea and have also developed skin conditions such as scabies due to water scarcity and poor hygienic conditions.
One pastoralist told Amnesty International that: “There is not enough milk anymore. So, we the grown-ups have given up drinking milk so that the children can still have some. As you can see, we do not look healthy and strong as we used to be. We are skinny and weak.”
Another pastoralist said that: “These days many people are becoming very sick because of hunger. Sometimes we go to Chiange to sell firewood so that we can buy some food. There is someone who died here because of hunger.”
According to the government, there are now 46 commercial livestock farms occupying 2,629km2 of the most fertile land, leaving only 1,299km2 of grazing land for the traditional cattle breeders. This translates to 67% of the land occupied by commercial farmers, leaving pastoralists with only 33% of the land.
Amnesty International found that the land, used for centuries as communal grazing land by pastoralists from southern Angola’s Cunene, Huila, and Namibe provinces, was taken away from communities without due process.
Despite this, the government has allowed commercial livestock farmers to occupy the Tunda dos Gambos and Vale de Chimbolela without giving local communities any form of compensation, clearly violating the country’s law.
Courtesy of amnesty.org
THE Khomas region is experiencing its worst drought in 90 years, according to official rainfall figures released by the Namibia Meteorological Service this week.
The region received less than a third of its normal quantity of rainfall over the past rainy season from October last year to the end of April this year. The bulk of the north-central regions of the country received about a third of their normal seasonal rainfall, and most of the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions recorded less than 40% of their normal rainfall totals, figures released by the weather service show.
The Meteorological Service also reported that while the eastern parts of the Zambezi region received between 60% and 80% of their normal seasonal rainfall totals during the 2018/19 rainy season, the situation was worse in the western parts of the region, which has ended up experiencing its worst drought in the last 59 years.
At the weather service’s head office in Windhoek, 106,7 millimetres of rain was measured during the past rainy season – the lowest annual figure since 1929/30, when a seasonal total of 97 mm was recorded at the same spot.
The past rainy season has also been drier in Windhoek than during the 1981/82 season, when a total of 126,2 mm of rain was recorded at the Windhoek Met Office during a severe drought that had Namibia in its grips.
Windhoek’s total rainfall during a normal rainy season is around 355 mm.
The end-of-season rainfall bulletin also shows that the situation is even more serious at Witvlei in the Omaheke region, where only 67 mm of rain was recorded from October to April. This is 79% below the normal seasonal total of 317,7 mm.
At Steinhausen, north-west of Gobabis, a near-normal rainfall total of 317,5 mm was recorded from October to April, though – only 8% below the normal seasonal total of 343,7 mm.
At Rundu, 334 mm of rain was recorded from October 2018 to the end of April 2019 – 41% below the town’s normal seasonal rainfall total of 568,6 mm.
The rainfall total of 168,7 mm recorded at Ondangwa during the past rainy season is 63% below the town’s normal seasonal total of 450,8 mm. At Grootfontein, the seasonal total came to 230,2 mm at the end of April, which is 57% below the town’s normal figure of 540,3 mm.
In the southern part of the Kunene region, 105,6 mm of rain was recorded at Khorixas during the past rainy season. That is 52% below its normal seasonal total of 220,4 mm.
The seasonal total of 31 mm measured at Gochas is 82% lower than the normal total rainfall of 176,4 mm in that part of in the Hardap region during an average rainy season.
At Keetmanshoop, 36,2 mm of rain was measured during the past rainy season – 76% below the //Kharas town’s normal seasonal total of 151 mm.
The failed rainy season is also reflected in the levels of the main dams supplying water to Windhoek. On Monday, the Von Bach and Swakoppoort dams were storing a combined 29 million cubic metres of water – compared to about 55 million cubic metres a year ago, and more than 62 million cubic metres at the same stage in 2017.
According to the City of Windhoek, city residents again failed to meet water saving targets over the past week. While the city has set a weekly water consumption target of no more than 465 000 cubic metres, actual consumption recorded over the past week was 497 332 cubic metres of water.
Water restrictions in the city are set to be tightened from the start of July.
Courtesy of namibian.com.na
The Great Drought , or drought in northeastern Brazil from 1877-79 , was the most devastating drought phenomenon of the history of Brazil , occurred in the Brazilian imperial period . The calamity is responsible for the deaths of between 400,000 and 500,000 people. Of a total of 800,000 people living in the affected area of the Northeast , around 120,000 migrated to the Amazon while 68,000 migrated to other parts of Brazil. The most affected region was the province of Ceará. Three years in a row without rain, without harvest, without planting, with loss of herds and with the escape of families, leaving uninhabited the interior. Both this drought event, as well as before and after, are associated with the El Niño phenomenon and its direct interference with the climate of this and other regions.
Courtesy of realclimatescience.com
Even worse in 60 years, it is wreaking havoc in the central zone of Chile, the losses in the agricultural sector are considerable, spring and summer could further exacerbate this situation.
According to estimates released by El Mercurio, some 10,000 animals have died among the regions of Coquimbo al Maule. Among these, Valparaíso would be the most affected, as El Mercurio pointed out to the Agriculture seremi, Humberto Lepe, 30% of the dead animals are cattle and 70% goats and sheep.
From the Ministry of Agriculture recognize that the Valparaíso Region is the most affected. “ We have 2,500 very complicated farmers and approximately 50 thousand affected animals”
In the Coquimbo Region as long as they move the cattle to the San Juan Argentina mountain range, to look for some food, while in the O’Higgins Region the farmers will have only one third of the usual water flow.
The situation is serious since in the Coquimbo Region the loss of livestock mass exceeds 50%, while in the Valparaíso Region the problem is affecting even bees. The hives are dying because there are no flowers anymore.
Courtesy of radioagricultura.cl
2500 head of cattle have died in Putaendo because of the worst water crisis in decades, according to local farmers and ranchers, who ask agriculture minister Antonio Walker to declare an agricultural emergency .
More than a hundred muleteers and breeders from the Putaendo area met with the mayor of the commune, councilors and the deputy of the Frente Amplio for the 6th district, Diego Ibáñez, to demonstrate the problems that the drought is afflicting them, especially with the Death of their animals
According to estimates, 30% of minor and major cattle have been lost. Victor Ramírez, farmer and rancher, said that as a result of this crisis he has no fodder or water.
Courtesy of biobiochile.cl
The Los Ríos area of the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco is suffering the worst drought in the last 30 years , causing an 80 percent stoppage in agricultural activity and heavy losses for livestock .
The largest river in Mexico, the Usumacinta , registers historically low levels, while in Balancán and Tenosique, municipalities bordering Guatemala , the arid landscape extends over the plain over crops and killing the herd of hunger and thirst that exceeds 390 thousand heads
The cracked earth is visible in large areas, with crops of sorghum and corn that remain standing, but without life, and there is no fishing for the drying of the rivers.
In the ranches, the jagüeyes-deep pools of water-are full of mud, and near them abound the dead and dying carcasses.
Balancán, one of the municipalities that make up the Los Ríos area, authorities attribute the balance to the absence of rain.
Courtesy of sinembargo.mx
At least 92 people have died in Bihar, India as the severe heatwave takes hold which is also affecting most of India.
The country is experiencing droughts and hundreds of cases of heatstroke.
Other deaths have been recorded in Aurangabad, Gaya, and Nawada, where temperatures have been around 45C.
At least 562 people have endured heatstroke and admitted to various hospitals.
Government officials fear the death toll will rise.
Approximately 4,000 cattle died in several municipalities, Leaving millions in loses.
The lack of water, food and high temperatures led to the death of the livestock.
Courtesy of larazon.co