ACT Appeal Madagascar: Assistance to cyclone affected - AFMG-31

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 440,469
Geneva, 4 June 2003

Dear Colleagues,

Every year the island of Madagascar lying off the coast of Mozambique experiences a number of cyclones which cause extensive damage to the country's infrastructure and destruction of people's lives as thousands lose their homes and crops. Often the affected people have to depend on international relief and rehabilitation assistance in order to pull through the emergency periods.

Between 7 and 10 May 2003 cyclone Manou hit the island affecting the central east coast and the central east regions between Brickaville and Vatomandry. ACT member, Church of Jesus Christ (FJKM), department of development reported severe devastation in the affected areas. Over 450,000 people were affected with 68 confirmed deaths. About 3,000 hectares of planted rice crop was destroyed. 2,452 homes, 16 church buildings, 4 schools and 25 public buildings were also reported damaged. FJKM has submitted a proposal for an ACT appeal to respond to the disaster by assisting some of the worst affected people with relief items which will include food and non food items. FJKM also proposes to carry out rice seed distribution which will help the target group back towards food self-sufficiency. They will also implement disaster prevention and mitigation strategies which will help the people better address future cyclone and flooding emergencies.

FJKM has vast experience in disaster response starting with the 1994 Geralda Cyclone and have been working with the cyclone prone communities on preparedness programs. They have also successfully implemented ACT appeals in the past with the last one being the Kesiny Cyclone disaster of May 2002.

Project Completion Date: 31 December 2003

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested (US$)

Total Appeal Target(s)
Less: Pledges/Contr. Recd.
Balance Requested from ACT Network

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
PO Box 2600
1211 Geneva 2

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address:

John Nduna
Acting Director, ACT


  • The Church of Jesus Christ (FJKM), Department for Development (SAF)

FJKM's roots are with the Quakers, London Mission Society (LMS) and the French Protestant Mission (MPF). In 1968 the three groups came together and formed the Church of Jesus Christ of Madagascar. In 1974 the FJKM formed SAF - its relief and development arm to address needs in Madagascar. The SAF has a Board of Directors of 15 persons and a 5 person Management Committee that governs its current operations. Currently the FJKM via the SAF (167 staff) is working with 615 peasant organisations in the areas of health, water supply, environmental issues, women's development and rural livelihood activities. Periodic evaluations have led the SAF to adopt its current Participatory Rural Assessment approach (PRA) in its community based community development strategy. The SAF-FJKM resource base is spread among several European donors, the PC USA and Government funds as well as local support.

The experiences of SAF / FJKM Emergency Relief Program include :

  • post cyclone interventions - after the passage of cyclone Geralda (1994), Bonita (1996), Gretelle (1997), Eline, Gloria and Hudah (2000-2001) and Kesiny (2002),

  • intervention during the drought in 1990-1991 in the southern part of Madagascar,

  • Intervention during the cholera epidemic in 2000 in the western part of Madagascar,

  • Training on preparedness against the passage of the cyclone and health education against the cholera in the risk areas (23 district).


October to April is the cyclone period for the north-western part of the Indian Ocean and for the period 2002-2003 twelve cyclones occurred in this area with three of them hitting Madagascar. Exceptionally, there were also intense cyclones in May and June causing heavy damage (as the case of Kesiny last year).

On 4 May 2003, a climatic depression in the Indian Ocean (about 900 km north east of Madagascar) evolved into a cyclone named Manou which passed through the north of Mauritius to the island of La Réunion to the north the following day.

On the morning of 7 May Manou was south west of Toamasina with winds of more than 200km/hour and heavy rains. During the afternoon of 8 May Manou hit the central east coast of Madagascar between Brickaville and Vatomandry , striking the Central east regions : Brickaville, Vatomandry, Mahanoro, Tanambao-Manampotsy, and exiting Madagascar between Nosy-Varika and Mananjary the evening of 10 May.

MANOU hit the central east causing severe devastation. Thousands of persons were rendered homeless and many have lost their means of livelihood - food crops have been damaged and in many areas totally destroyed. Roads, bridges and other infrastructure have also been demolished.

Current situation

Major road links have been damaged or destroyed and many towns on the east (Vatomandry, Mahanoro, Ilaka, Fasina, Ambalabe, Niherana, Maintinandry) have sustained 70% damages. The water supplies have been badly damaged and there is serious concern of a possible dramatic increase in water borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and dysentery among the most seriously affected. Currently, health services are functioning at 75% of capacity due to damage to hospitals, clinics and transportation infrastructure. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports an increase in malaria.

The Government, CARE international and CRS (Catholic Relief Service) co-ordinating with the Conseil National de Secours (CNS) have been the major players in the distribution of food and relief supplies. They envision a 6-month food distribution period (between 2 harvests) for the affected areas. The focus of efforts is now on the more inaccessible regions (Maintinandry, Niherana,...).

Impact on Human Lives

Due to the severe flooding and consequent mudslides caused by Manou, the death toll has been confirmed at 68, with 450,000 affected, 250,000 persons in dire need of assistance (including approximately 50,000 women and 35,000 children) and 2,600 rendered homeless. The CNS estimates that between 50% to 70% of the current rice crop has been lost.

Description of Damages

While specific data is still being gathered by the CNS, the SAF team can confirm the following:

  • 68 confirmed deaths
  • 21 unaccounted for
  • 450,000 affected victims
  • 250,000 needing immediate assistance
  • 2,600 homeless
  • 50% to 70% of rice crops lost : about 3.000 hectares
  • 6 districts affected
  • 2,452 homes destroyed,
  • 16 churches destroyed,
  • 4 schools destroyed,
  • 25 Publics building destroyed.
Locations for Proposed Response
  • District of Vatomandry : 16 localities
  • District of Mahanoro : 13 localities


  • to assist the most vulnerable persons affected by the cyclone to regain their normal way of life, enable them to protect their health and recover their means of subsistence,

  • to implement disaster prevention and mitigation strategies which will prepare them to better address future emergency situations.

  • to sustain the initiative and efforts of needy groups in order to improve their social, ecological and economic life conditions.
  • to provide 5 kilos of rice seed to each of 6,000 identified affected farmers.

  • to provide a basic resettlement kit to 1,000 families; the resettlement kit will consist of 2 blankets, 2 large mosquito net, 1 pack of second hand clothes, 4 bars of soap and 6 litress of anti-cholera water treatment kits.

  • to provide 1,000 families with housing rehabilitation kits; each kit will contain 4 sheets of metal and 2 bags of cement.

  • to train 100 community leaders and 10 SAF community development promoters in disaster assessment techniques, prevention and mitigation strategies

  • to distribute rice through Food For Work (FFW) programs for a six-month period for 1,000 persons to rehabilitate community infrastructure (road, churches, schools) The FFW participants (1 person per family) will be provided with 50 kilos of rice per 15 days (30 half days) of community work.

  • to construct 5 cereal granaries to promote food security within the affected regions.

The targeted beneficiaries are the most vulnerable families who have lost their means of subsistence (rural peasants farmers), those that have lost their homes, and communities that have lost their churches, schools and clinics.

Number and Type of Targeted Beneficiaries

  • 6,000 rural farm families (rice seed)
  • 1,000 homeless families with (housing rehabilitation kits, resettlement kits and FFW programs)
  • 100 community leaders and 10 SAF development promoters for the disaster response training.
Criteria used in Beneficiary Selection

Beneficiaries will be those disaster victims identified by our SAF development promoters in co-ordination with community leaders and selected regardless of their faith group affiliation.

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