Madagascar: Cyclone ENAWO

Credit: UNICEF

Cyclone Enawo is wreaking havoc across Madagascar: towns and cities flooded; houses, schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure destroyed; and thousands of people displaced. Power outages are widespread in affected areas. More than 760,000 people in nine regions are expected to be directly affected by the strongest cyclone to strike the island nation in 13 years. Conditions are comparable to Cyclone Gafilo in 2004, which left 250,000 Malagasies displaced and 100,000 homes damaged in its wake. Another recent major tropical storm, Cyclone Ivan, affected more than half a million people and displaced nearly 200,000 in 2008.

The National Office for Disaster Risk and Management (BNGRC) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) have activated the Multi-Hazard National Contingency Plan 2016/2017. The scope and magnitude of the current humanitarian situation correspond to the worst case scenario (severe) as described in the contingency plan, requiring the activation of several sectors and coordination at national and local levels. Humanitarian actors have scaled up their presence to support the Malagasy authorities in responding to the devastating humanitarian impacts of this natural disaster.

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(UPDATED: 10 March 2017)


According to FEWS NET, 2015/16 crop production across southern Madagascar failed or was very poor due to the effects of last season’s drought. As this follows two previous years of below-average crop production, which caused households to deplete their resources, poor households are expected to have limited capacity to cope. Consequently, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected through the end of the lean season in February 2017 with consumption gaps and elevated levels of acute malnutrition likely. According to the preliminary provisional results of the joint multi-sector assessment conducted in July/August 2016, an estimated 1.21 million people are food insecure, with 600,000 people still severely so. In June 2016, despite improvements in nutrition indicators since February 2016, several pockets of severe acute malnutrition persist and global acute malnutrition rates have reached emergency thresholds in Tsihombe District.

Water consumption has declined to a reported one liter per person per day in certain drought-affected districts. Water scarcity in many districts across the affected regions remains a major obstacle to the resilience of families. Rapid assessments report an increase of diarrhea in children under age 5 of up to 25 per cent and drop-out rates as high as 40 per cent in primary schools. Nutrition screening data indicates that 57,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in the 8 most affected districts in the south are facing acute malnutrition, of whom 10,000 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. A 12-month humanitarian response plan (April 2016 to April 2017) has been jointly developed by all humanitarian partners. In conjunction, a recovery plan linked to long-term drought mitigation has been developed for 36 months, in order to establish good foundations and effective linkages to longer-term development. However, only 42 per cent of the required $70 million has been received to date, and only a third of the targeted beneficiaries have been reached. If funding is not available, and based on the analysis of pipeline, scale of needs and interventions from other stakeholders, WFP estimates that 250,000 to 350,000 people per month will not receive life-saving food assistance.

More than 139,000 people have gained access to safe water through the establishment of 104 new boreholes, 183m3 of trucked water and 550 water points rehabilitated by UNICEF, Government and partners. UNICEF has continued to support the National Nutrition Office and Ministry of Health, including through the provision of 9,000 boxes of ready-to-use therapeutic food, therapeutic milk and essential drugs; and the extension of the severe acute malnutrition surveillance system. To date, 7,000 families with children suffering from SAM have received a WASH kit and awareness raising on the use of the ceramic filter and handwashing with soap. 550 water points have been rehabilitated, benefiting an estimated 100,000 people with clean water, including at schools and health centers; 104 new boreholes have been drilled and equipped with hand pumps, benefiting 24,550 people; and 3 new mid-level water supply schemes have been completed, benefitting 5,270 people. The construction of 16 boreholes and 8-mid-level water supply systems remain in progress and will benefit an estimated additional 20,500 people with clean water.


(UPDATED: Oct 2016)


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