Zimbabwe: Press Statement by Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Air Chief Marshal (rtd) P. Shiri on Downsizing of Farms which is being labelled to be targeting white farmers in the Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper Article on 26 June 2020 (02.07.2020)

Somalia, UN seek humanitarian aid to avert food insecurity (04.02.2020)

The assessment notes that up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security and require urgent humanitarian assistance.

MOGADISHU, Somalia, February 4, 2020 – Somalia’s federal authorities and the United Nations (UN) are calling for urgent humanitarian assistance to avert an acute food insecurity situation that could threaten millions of people.The call was made during the launch of the post-Deyr (October – December) seasonal Food Security and Nutrition Assessment for Somalia on Monday.

The periodic assessment is conducted twice a year by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), both of which are managed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN, in collaboration with various partners and governments.

The assessment notes that up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security and require urgent humanitarian assistance. At the same time, more than 690,000 children below five years of age could become acutely malnourished by the end of the year.

The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, said that humanitarian needs persist despite favourable Deyr rains that improved the food security situation across the country.

“Approximately 4.1 million people across Somalia will continue to face acute food insecurity through mid-2020, including 1.3 million people who need urgent humanitarian assistance. Over 962,000 children face acute malnutrition, including 162, 000 who could become severely malnourished through this year, if their needs are not addressed,” said Mr. Abdelmoula.

He also noted that although the recent desert locust invasion in Somalia had been limited and localised, it carries a high risk of damage to crops.

“These concerns add to what is already one of the biggest and most complex emergencies in the world today. About 2.6 million people remain internally displaced and highly impoverished. They need to be better protected and supported in finding durable solutions,” the senior UN official said.

Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Hamoud Ali Hassan, attributed the country’s humanitarian challenges to factors beyond seasonal weather variations.

“The problem in Somalia is not only because of rainfall. It is due to insecurity and lack of infrastructure, which affects the movement of people between member states. Insecurity is a contributing factor,” the deputy minister noted, further appealing for support from international partners.

The FAO representative in Somalia, Etienne Peterschmitt, concurred that the country has experienced multiple challenges, such as poor Gu rains (the season running from April to June) compounded by the recent invasion of desert locusts. Mr. Peterschmitt pointed out that this complex issue requires concerted efforts to contain.

“If the locust [invasion] does hit the cropping or grazing areas at the worst time, the damage can be huge, up to a 100 per cent,” Mr. Peterschmitt said. He added that, considering where the invasion is located at the moment, it would not necessarily mean that the plague will affect all parts of the country, but nevertheless reminded all partners to be prepared.

Daniel Molla, the FSNAU Chief Technical Advisor, noted that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) indicate that most parts of Somalia will register favourable Gu rains this year, except in northwest Somaliland, which may experience below average Gu rains that could negatively impact on crop and livestock production.

“We also have to consider the prospects for the Gu season rainfall that is ahead of us; and the forecast for the IGAD indicates that average and above-average rainfall is expected in most parts of Somalia,” Molla said.

Somalia: FSNAU-FEWS NET Technical Release – Despite improvements, up to 1.3 million people in Somalia face acute food security Crisis or worse outcomes (03.02.2020)

Government and donors enable WFP to assist 1.2 million refugees and build local economies in Uganda (31.01.2020)

KAMPALA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) commends the Government of Uganda and all its donors for helping it to contribute to the basic food needs of 1.2 million refugees and their host communities across the country in 2019.

Donors and the Government of Uganda supported WFP to meet the basic dietary needs of refugees through monthly food or cash transfers. In addition, donors funded the treatment and prevention of malnutrition among refugees and Ugandans living around refugee settlements.

WFP was also able to support smallholder farmers to improve their yields and incomes while reducing food losses.

“The partnership between government, donors and WFP is vital to fight hunger and malnutrition in Uganda,” said El-Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director. “The ability of donors to swiftly provide funding and entrust us to deliver assistance to those seeking refuge —often women and children fleeing unimaginable hardships—needs our heartfelt recognition.”

In 2019, WFP’s refugee operation received contributions from Uganda, Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the United States of America.

Donors enabled WFP to help boost economies within Uganda by purchasing food locally. In addition, WFP strengthened its food and cash distribution procedures, including using biometrics to confirm identities in order to improve the accountability and integrity of the refugee response.

The government and donors helped WFP to expand cash-based transfers, reaching 35 percent of all refugees assisted. Cash allows refugees to choose what food they buy and stimulates economic growth in and around settlements. Cash also boosts government efforts to enhance financial inclusion.

Through cash-based transfers, WFP injected US$35 million into refugee settlements in 2019.

At the end of 2019, Uganda hosted 1.38 million refugees— the highest number of refugees in Africa. More than 67,300 refugees arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan between July and December. Women and people under the age of 18 make up 83 percent of refugees.

They typically arrive in Uganda with little to no assets, leaving them heavily dependent on assistance. A WFP and government study in 2017 found that even while the government gives land and the UN and other organizations provide additional assistance, refugees remain vulnerable for years.

By meeting their basic food and nutrition needs, WFP and its partners enable refugees to begin a journey toward self-reliance and resilience in line with Uganda’s refugee policy.

Donors to WFP’s relief and development work in Uganda to support refugees and host communities in 2019 were: Canada (US$562,000), the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (US$16 million), Ireland (US$2.3 million), Japan (US$2 million), the Republic of Korea (US$7 million of oil and rice), Russia (US$1.5 million), Sweden (US$1.7 million), Uganda (US$2.7 million of rice), the United Kingdom (US$56 million), the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (US$3.5 million) and the United States of America (US$110.6 million).

Contributions also came from multilateral (US$2 million) and private donors (US$306,400).

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Opinion: Hon. Cheptoris the people complain, because your not doing your job

 

“When I hear people complaining that our houses are being washed away by floods, I wonder! Floods have no eyes that when they are moving, they are looking for their homes. We are experiencing frequent flooding and loss of property, prolonged drought, drying of springs and wells because we have degraded our wetlands” – Minister of Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris (Irene Abalo Otto – ‘You’re to blame for devastating effects of floods, minister tells Ugandans’ 30.01.2020, Daily Monitor).

Some people shouldn’t quit their day-job, he should have continued with whatever he did before politics. Before he ever accepted the nomination and the opportunity to serve as an Minister in Government. Because your not cutting it, when your blaming the public for putting up structures. When your government clearly haven’t studied, gotten the public educated nor the ones allowing for the building to happen in the first place.

The reasons for the landslides aren’t only in wetlands, it is plenty of other reasons too. To much rain, to little safe areas and no education of the villages that get taken by the rain. Not like the public can just move and get shelter elsewhere. They got to get help and educated by the state. However, the state cannot afford, nor are they designing structures to resilience against the landslides nor the flooding in general.

That is the job of the Ministry and the ones involved in the Disaster Preparedness. Even with some help from the Office of the Prime Minister should help to resolve something too. But, it is much easier to throw the people under the bus.

I will quote one study, just to prove the ignorance of the presiding Minister.

PLOS Research Article from 2016 states this: “This study reveals that failure to overcome the effects to landslides and floods in disaster prone communities of Uganda are mainly due to deep rooted links to poverty, culture and unsatisfactory knowledge. Good farming practices and support from the government and implementation partners were shown to be effective in enabling the community to resist the effects disasters. This calls for support in designing more focused interventions targeting reduction of these underlying factors as well as involvement of all stakeholders in scaling the effective coping strategies in order to build resilience in this community and other similarly affected areas” (PLOS – ‘Coping Strategies for Landslide and Flood Disasters: A Qualitative Study of Mt. Elgon Region, Uganda’ 11.07.2016).

Since the study is about 4 years old, it is surely is relevant today. It shows the weaknesses in the stakeholders and within the government. That will all the occurring landslides and flooding, have not abided to it. They have not invested nor tried to comprehend the scale of an operation to help the ones in need nor build the strategies for resilience. It is easier to pin the people who build structures, than the ones who allow them and the ones who earn funds on building it.

The Minister should consider that. Not expect it. Since he could easily say this today. He might say something similar tomorrow. Peace.

Uganda: OPM – Government Statement on Country Preparedness to prevent the Invasion of Locusts (22.01.2020)

Opinion: CS Mwangi Kiunjuri axed today

Well, Mr. Take a Photo of Locust and post on it Social Media, then the professionals at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation statement the other in the media. This is the man who was reshuffled away or axed from the Kenyatta Cabinet on the 14th January 2020. Not that its deserving to sack CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.

But, his a long-term ally of Deputy President William Ruto. A man who help to intimidate witnesses for the ICC case of the ones in power. CS Kiunjuri was first the CS for Devolution and Planning for two years, until he was appointed on the 26th January 2018 as the CS for Agriculture and Irrigation. So, he got close to two years there too, but this time his out and no new deployment.

That is why his axed. The man of the Maize, Sugar, Rice, Tea and Coffee Cartels. As his helped them and been a cushion for them. Ensured their enrichment over the farmers, while they use the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to give favourable deals between traders over farmers. Therefore, the cartels and inside trading benefits the traders, not the farmers.

That is why the golfer, the long time MP and CS didn’t do his work properly. He surely has enrichen himself as an MP. As he got over 700 million shillings over the years in Parliament. While, he has gotten connections with Ruto and others. His been part of dam scandals and others, where he surely gotten something sweet.

With the two years as CS of Agriculture, he most likely found some ways to his pockets too. That is why he will miss the bargain of being there. As he could ensure the rotting cereals, while importing UNGA, Sugar and whatnot else for the benefit of the cartels. Since, the pricing of the state would maybe not be beneficial of the ones there.

Now, the man has fallen, but not expect changes in the Ministry. That’s a fools hope at this point. There was no big change in Bett and will be little or nothing with the next. Only a new face and soon new scandals involving farming goods. Just await a sugar, tea, coffee or such scandal in a few months time. It is inevitable.

Kiunjuri might be a useless minister, but he knew how to keep the cartels mobilized and secure them funds. So, that they could oil the political machinery in parliament and the patrons of the industries. That is what it does and will continue. There are two many big-men eating of this plate to stop it. It is too much at stake, that is why the DCI and whatnot else doesn’t investigate it. They just let it go.

Now, Kiunjuri is let go. It is not a sad day, maybe for the Cartels, but they will get a new puppet under a new name and flag. This revolution will not be televised, but experienced in homes across the Republic. As the Maize, Sugar, Coffee, Tea and Rice will be used as a tool by the cartels, as there is no interest stopping them.

Not under Kiunjuri, not under Bett and whatever the new CS is. It will not happen, only go skin-deep if only so. Peace.

Malawi: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development – Armyworm Outbreak Alert (04.01.2020)

Zimbabwe: ED wants the citizen’s to go vegetarian…

You should eat vegetables, they are recommended by doctors. Doctors want you to eat vegetables so that you stay healthy. Meat is not good at all. We have differed there; I listen to doctors, so I eat vegetables. They said vitamins are found in vegetables and potatoes. You see. I was advised that there are seven basic commodities which should not be scarce. We are going to make sure that these are found at affordable prices for our people. We are working on that, be patient. These things are being rolled out, we have the money to do that” – President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa on the 3rd January 2020

There are usually signs that your running a successful enterprise, when you have the options to choose and can even save something for a rainy day. However, that is not the case in Zimbabwe. Where the authorities are acting like everything is dandy, as they got the hand on the steering-wheel, while it looks it is rolling off a cliff.

The economic desperation comes hard with this one. That a President tells the crowds around him, as the citizen cannot afford meat. That they should continue to just eat vegetables. It is a reason why the state got subsidize Maize Roller Meals and other initiatives to try to get things to the public. As the citizens cannot afford the basics nor the needed consumer products. Food gets to costly and their options getting smaller.

That is why suddenly the President wants to sound like a Public Health Advisor or an Nutrition Worker. He is the man, who explains the values of roots, greens and whatever that grows from the soil. That these plants and vegetables are having nutritions values, which the body needs. This isn’t the sounds and whispering words of a President, but of someone who tells someone who has a deficiency or visiting the doctor because of fatigue.

So, Mr. President: “what’s up doc?”

What is the cure is it veganism and become vegetarian, leave all meat behind and also try to get fish. However, shouldn’t you ensure that people get protein and such too? There isn’t an substitute for that, not even with beans and lentils. So, when he says eat vegetables, his knowingly giving the public some deficiency and lack of other vital nutritions supplements in the diet, which meat has.

Nevertheless, ED and ZANU-PF will never say this, because they know they are loosing. The President should know how embarrassing this is and the sign it sets. This is not a sign of development or control. What it is signifying is a failing economy, a fragile agricultural output and lack of currency to export needed things. That is why meat becomes to expensive for the public. Plus the inflation and lack of rising salaries, make all commodities to expensive to the public too. Therefore, it is bad governing and the public is paying the price, as they cannot afford it any-more.

Mnangagwa, who are you to say these things? Veganism and vegetarians is that the new sloganeering of the government? Is that the thing of ZANU-PF for 2020?

If so, your failing and is abysmal at your job. If you don’t know that, now you know. Please, do quit your day job, Mr. President, your bad at it. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Statement by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Dr. S.L. Nzenza, on the Maize Roller Meal Subsidy Programme (02.01.2020)