Record heat temperatures in Zimbabwe and most parts of the southern African region are now taking a toll on people, livestock and crops.
In its latest report, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) says Zimbabwe’s area cropped for the 2015 and 2016 season is expected to be below average due to dry conditions.
The report says the seasonal forecast update for January to March 2016 now indicates a high likelihood of average to below-average rains throughout Zimbabwe.
According to Fewsnet, this updated forecast elevates chances of mid-season dry spells and or an early cessation of rains this season, potentially affecting crop and livestock condition.
Fewsnet is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity and was created by USAID in 1985.
In South Africa, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) issued a statement calling on all employers to “adhere to health and safety regulations and protect workers from dangers of dehydration and heat stress, especially those working in agriculture, construction, public works and those industries associated with warm and hot environments like mining and bakery.”
Meteorological Services Department Head of Forecasting, Tich Zinyemba, told VOA Studio 7 the extreme weather conditions are a cause for concern though relief might come to some parts of the country Saturday.