Southern Africa

In pictures: Southern Africa floods

NAIROBI, 20 January 2015 (IRIN) - More than a third of Malawi's territory has been affected by flooding, leading to a state of disaster to be declared in many parts of the country. This slideshow offers a glimpse of the devastation. full report

Eyewitness: Malawi’s floods

NAIROBI, 16 January 2015 (IRIN) - The scale and impact of the current flooding in southern Malawi seems to have caught the authorities by surprise. Some areas were deluged with a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours, and forecasts suggest there is more to come. full report

Nice and dirty – the importance of soil

NAIROBI, 16 January 2015 (IRIN) - Be it laterite, loam, peat or clay, soil is life. It's the foundation of food security, and so the UN has declared 2015 as the year to draw attention to the stuff. full report

South Africa's controversial new asylum form

JOHANNESBURG, 11 December 2014 (IRIN) - Refugee advocates in South Africa have reacted with dismay and skepticism to a planned revamp of the asylum application process which the government says is designed to distinguish economic migrants from people with a bona fide case for refugee status. full report

PRESS RELEASE: IRIN humanitarian news service to spin off from the UN

GENEVA, 20 November 2014 (IRIN) - After nearly 20 years as part of the United Nations, the humanitarian news service IRIN is spinning off to become an independent non-profit media venture, with the support of a major private donor full report

An ambitious plan to end statelessness

LONDON, 7 November 2014 (IRIN) - It is now 60 years since stateless people received recognition in international law, and the UN has two conventions (1954 and 1961) dedicated to their protection and the regularization of their situation. Yet an estimated 10 million people worldwide still suffer the problems and indignities of having no nationality. full report

Lake Malawi’s dwindling fish stocks threaten livelihoods

KARONGA, 7 November 2014 (IRIN) - A combination of overfishing and the use of illegal fishing gear has seen fish stocks in Lake Malawi dwindle to the point that local people's livelihoods and food security are now under threat. full report

South Africa's health system shuns asylum seekers

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October 2014 (IRIN) - When Elise M’s* 18-year-old daughter tried to kill herself with an overdose of pills last year, the ambulance that Elise called took them to nearby South Rand Hospital, in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville. But nurses at the hospital refused to admit her. full report

From wife-beaters to peace-preachers: tackling domestic abuse in Zimbabwe’s hinterland

MARONDERA, 21 October 2014 (IRIN) - Jairos Maruwe used to beat up his wife so badly he once knocked her unconscious and broke her arm. It landed him in jail at least once, but it was the way he was raised. full report

Uproar over Harare demolitions

HARARE, 13 October 2014 (IRIN) - Thousands of residents in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare and surrounding areas are facing eviction from their homes as local authorities embark on an operation to demolish all illegal structures. full report