MBABANE: The Kingdom of eSwatini has expressed its commitment to combat climate change and its impacts in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dr. Tambo Gina, the Minister of Economic Planning and Development said the country developed the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (2014-2019). Quoted in the Voluntary National Report, the Minister cited the National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and National Resilience Strategy and Disaster Risk Reduction Plan of Action as some of the institutions established to fight climate change and its impacts.
“The country developed the National Climate Change Policy and Strategy 2016, the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (2014-2019). In addition, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and National Resilience Strategy and Disaster Risk Reduction Plan of Action (2017 – 2021) were developed” the Minister was quoted in the report.
The effects of climate change are affecting even farmers in the Kingdom of eSwatini who rely on farming to earn a living. In 2016, the World Food Programme(WFP) reported that about 77 percent (52 percent women and 48 percent men) of people rely on subsistence farming for their livelihoods.
“High dependence on rain-fed maize production, very low-income levels of rural smallholders and high prices of food and agricultural inputs – such as seeds and fertilizers – together with high rates of HIV and AIDS among wage earners are the main drivers of food insecurity in the country. Furthermore, effects from the El Niño-induced drought are still being felt. Preliminary results from a 2017 Annual Vulnerability Analysis Assessment state that about 159,000 people will be food insecure during the lean season, due to a combination of reduced income opportunities and poor agricultural performance leading to high reliance on purchases and relatively high food prices” the report states.
Drought in eSwatini