Famine has been ravaging the south of the island of Madagascar since the end of September 2019.
Not a single drop of rain has fallen since that time. The heat has also dried up all the plantations and farmlands and all their food reserves have been exhausted. Even the cactus fruits they normally rely on have dried up because of the drought. The villagers now dig holes by the riverside just to find water.
Some people fetch the water and sell them to their neighbouring villages. Hunger has continued to rise, affecting half of the country population and forcing most families to depend on insects and sand for food.According to an interview by AFP Farmer Doday Fandilava said “These days we no longer search for food to live on, but ways to fill our empty stomach. We eat soil mixed with tamarind just to stave off hunger”
Another farmer said he no longer farms but has taken up charcoal selling to raise money so his family can eat cassava just once in a day. Many people have died from hunger and children are suffering from malnutrition. Majority of them have to eat bugs and are selling all their household items even down to their cooking utensils just to raise money to survive.
Mrs Vao who earns a living by occasionally working with landowners in their village said if she doesn’t get enough money to buy rice, her family settles for spoiled manioc for the day.
According to WFP, the situation is extremely worrying; most children have dropped out of school to help their families search for food. Madagascar is one of the poorest African nations and due to this pandemic and drought, poverty in the nation will continue to rise.
The UN deputy humanitarian chief stated, “there is a need for immediate humanitarian assistance to save the lives of the people of Madagascar”.WFP is appealing to the international community to donate funds to help support the people of Madagascar affected by the drought.
Article by news.phxfeeds.com