Saturday, July 13, 2024

Madagascar: Families eating mud due to worst drought in 40 years

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

Some families in southern Madagascar are reportedly eating mud as the country experiences its worst drought in four decades.

The World Food Programme which made the shocking revelation said the worst drought in southern Madagascar is causing hunger and famine-like condition.

Its director, David Beasley, who’s just visited the area, said that without immediate assistance more than half a million people would soon be “knocking on famine’s door”, with another 800,000 marching towards it.

He said he was shocked by what he’d seen in southern Madagascar – children who were just skin and bones, families eating mud and the fruit of cacti because there was nothing else.

Beasley called it a silent tragedy in a forgotten location.

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According to Beasley the crisis was being driven by climate change, with drought after drought forcing families to leave their homes, through no fault of their own.

He is asking wealthy nations to assist in providing food for those affected by the drought in Madagascar.

The south of the country experienced 50% of its usual rains during the October planting season last year.

Between 1980 and 2010, Madagascar suffered 35 cyclones and floods, five periods of severe drought, five earthquakes and six epidemics.

In some villages emergency threshold for global acute malnutrition (15%) established by the World Health Organization has been exceeded.

Madagascar has the fourth-highest malnutrition rate in the world and the current drought isn’t helping matters anymore.


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