Mozambique’s first disaster was a cyclone. The second has been cholera. Now hunger could be the third.
The raging floodwaters that made a large part of central Mozambique a vast inland sea are draining, laying bare a severe lack of food for the months ahead.
Cyclone Idai swept in from the Indian Ocean on March 10 shortly before thousands of subsistence farmers planned to bring in the harvest. Mozambique’s government said that more than 1.7 million acres of crop fields were flooded.
A narrow window of time for farmers to put a shorter-term crop into the ground such as beans or green corn is quickly closing, with about two weeks left. Such a “second harvest” normally accounts for just 10% of annual food production, the UN World Food Programme said.