There is no food to eat. Nothing to cultivate. May was the month that Ifotaka’s last rain fell for just two hours.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Famine in Madagascar
Across the vast southern tip of Madagascar, drought has turned fields into bowls of dust. Over a million people experience famine. The countryside is deserted in tens of thousands of territories. The harvest season begins in October, taking long lean weeks before the meager, low-nutrient crops arrive.
The inhabitants have abandoned some villages. In others, people should be seen in the fields working, but instead they are at home wasting away. There is no harvest to harvest. Hunger depresses both the mind and the body of people. They move gradually and find it difficult to follow a conversation.
Helmine Sija, 60, who has six children in a village called Atoby, said: “I feel sick and worried. Every day I wonder what we are going to eat.
Read also: Modern Famines: What Madagascar’s Current Crisis Means for the World
The fate of the residents
An elderly woman with gray hair and a hardened face, Sija tends to a pot of boiling cactus at the entrance to her house. She cut the bites with a machete to prepare them for cooking.
What she cooks cannot really be called food. The mixture contains little nutritional value, but is well known to suppress appetite, even if it causes an upset stomach.
His first eldest children left to look for work in other cities. She takes care of the youngest. She said, “I want to move to a more fertile place, where I can cultivate. But I don’t have enough money to leave.
Around the town of Ifotaka, residents said the government brought rice, beans and oil in August. Out of 500 people selected for financial aid, approximately 90 received the $ 26.
(Photo: Getty Images)
Malnutrition is common in southern Madagascar. But the current drought is the worst in 40 years, according to the United Nations, which blames climate change for the crisis.
Médecins Sans Frontières has set up a mobile clinic to travel from village to village. Children hold tightly to packets of “plump”, a peanut butter paste intended to help those suffering from severe malnutrition.
Through the group of people on hold, nurses and helpers selected the most urgent cases and took them to the front line. Small children are measured in a blue bucket. Their skinny arms are wrapped around tape measures, so they know how severely undernourished they are.
Families receive a two-week food supply depending on the number of children in the family.
Two sisters and a brother in Fenoaivo – all retired – stayed in a house.
Tsafaharie, 69, said: “It’s been a long time since we’ve grown anything. On a good day the three of us share a bowl of rice.”
Associated article: Hunger in Madagascar: the first famine in history entirely attributed to climate change
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