· · ·

Worst drought in 40 years hits southern Madagascar

worst-drought-in-40-years-hits-southern-madagascar

Parts of southern Madagascar are under the worst drought conditions since at least 1981. The region is now in its fifth year of drought which wiped out harvests and hampered access to food. In three months to January 2021, there was less than 50% of the normal quantity of rainfall. In addition, up to 60% of harvests are expected to be lost in the coming months.

Southern Madagascar recorded another below-average cumulative rainfall this season, particularly in the Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga, Haute Matsiatra, and Ihorombe regions.

This is the fifth below-average rainy season reported in southern Madagascar in the last six years, with the Grand Sud affected by its most severe drought since 1981.

The worst affected are children and women, with three out of four children quitting school, mostly to help their parents forage for food.

As of May 12, there are at least 70 000 children who are acutely malnourished and the number is rising daily, Welthungerhilfe (WHH) reports.

If rapid emergency assistance is not provided, there is a risk that the famine will spread, endangering the lives of up to a million people, WHH said.

Marlene Müller, WHH Programme Director described the situation in the south as dramatic.

"Our colleagues in the south report that some fields have turned to dust and sand because of the lack of rain," said Müller.

"The small farmers normally harvest their crops at this time of year to feed their families. Instead, the children must go hungry because they are not getting enough to eat. People are feeding on leaves, berries, and locusts. The small farming families have no way to get enough healthy food, or to earn an income."

"They have no reserves left. Without rapid assistance from outside, they are threatened by starvation."

Over the past six years — 2015/16 – 2020/21 — southern Madagascar has experienced five below-average rainy seasons. The past two consecutive below-average seasons have led to a severe reduction in staple food production and declined livestock herd size and body condition, FEWS reported.

Featured image credit: USAID

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.

Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.

All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.

You can choose the level of your support.

Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

One Comment

  1. Jesus said there would be famines before he returns. Repent and he will save you.

    Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be *famines* and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.