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Security Brief: EMH2 Week of March 7, 2022

Updated: Mar 30

Week of Monday, March 7, 2022 |Issue 43

Alyssa Schmidt, Megan Bilney, Emergency Management, Health, and Hazards (EMH2) Team

Justin Maurina, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief of Staff



Brown locust from Eastern Cape, South Africa[1]



Date: March 11, 2022

Location: Nampula, Mozambique

Parties involved: Residents of Mozambique; Mozambique Government; National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD); Local emergency medical services; Local rescue teams

The event: Hurricane Gombe caused strong winds and flooding which destroyed more than 3,000 houses, and resulted in 40 injured individuals and 12 casualties.[2] As of the afternoon on March 11, 300,329 individuals have been left without electricity.[3] The country has been without water and experienced unstable phone services. Businesses closed in the area, and airports canceled flights to cope with the inclement weather. This weather is suspected to impact the northern and central regions of Mozambique in the next few days.[4]

Analysis & Implications:

  • The likely spread of the weather to Mozambique's northern and central areas will very likely reduce communication systems further. Areas of priority, such as water filtering and healthcare, are unlikely to be rapidly addressed due to the reduced information available about the number of casualties and hardest-hit areas. As critical infrastructure and communication systems have very likely been damaged due to the weather, emergency response times are likely to increase, with the INGDs’ coordination and response very likely delayed by the inability to communicate with on-the-ground personnel.

  • The lack of water filtering will very likely lead to individuals using contaminated water sources. Contaminated water will almost certainly spread increased water-borne diseases within local communities, and it is likely to affect livestock that survived the hurricane, with animals likely becoming sick and unlikely to be treated by veterinarians due to debris blocking roads. The loss of livestock will likely affect Mozambique’s food supply chain, and a lack of available personnel to carry out production and transportation tasks will very likely exacerbate food production disruption as communities focus on recovery and road repair.


Date: March 11, 2022

Location: Northern Cape Province, South Africa

Parties involved: South African government; Farmers; Northern Cape Department of Agriculture; Agriculture sector; South African citizens; Namibia Government; Botswana Government; Local councils and authorities

The event: A locust outbreak in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province has spread to 33 farming towns. Locusts cause damage to crops as locust swarms eat leaves, grains, and trees. The Department of Agriculture and private citizens are using helicopters to attempt to control the swarms.[5]

Analysis & Implications:

  • If helicopters cannot contain the swarm, ecological destruction will likely occur along the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The damage to crops, plants, and trees is very likely to increase water run-off and decrease water capture. Reduced water availability will likely increase competition among civilians and exploitation by resource organizations and national governments to secure scarce resources. Increased competition in the region will likely result in an increased presence of private military companies to protect resources and assets.

  • Reduced crop production will very likely impact farmers’ income, with reduced seed availability and decreased available income likely reducing crop planting in 2023. Reduced planting will likely impact the creation and rebuilding of agricultural lands, such as community grain silos and shared farming facilities, due to decreased taxes and increased unemployment for workers that assist in harvesting and planting crops. The lack of available grain facilities will likely result in increased strain on transportation systems, as transport vehicles are very likely required to coordinate and pick up from different farms, rather than a centralized location, which is very likely to result in further delays along the supply chain.

________________________________________________________________________ The Counterterrorism Group (CTG)

[1]Brown locust from Eastern Cape, South Africa” by Piotr Naskrecki licensed under Creative Commons

[2] Mozambique cyclone death toll climbs to 12, Phys.org, March 2022, https://phys.org/news/2022-03-mozambique-cyclone-death-toll-climbs.html

[3] Cyclone Gombe Among Mozambique’s Most Severe Since 2000, Bloomberg, March 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-11/cyclone-gombe-among-worst-storms-to-hit-mozambique-since-2000

[4] Cyclone Gombe hits Northern Mozambique with heavy wind, rain, Africanews, March 2022, https://www.africanews.com/2022/03/11/cyclone-gombe-hits-northern-mozambique-with-heavy-wind-rain/

[5] Plague of locusts enters NC - is SA prepared for an ‘epidemic’?, The South African, March 2022, https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/locusts-outbreak-northern-cape-spreading-farms-11-march-2022/

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