Madagascar: Cyclone Chedza Emergency Plan of Action final report - DREF n° MDRMG011


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Madagascar is within the Regional Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and on January/12/2015, pressure in the zone resulted in unreasonably high amounts of rain in the city of Antananarivo. The city is an area prone to flooding, with two thirds of the city classified as a flood plain, which leads to a chronic annual cycle of flooding emergencies, displacement, injury and loss of life.

During 2010-2013, illegal houses were constructed within the capital city without authorization in the so-called prohibited areas such as drainage canals, dykes and flood zones, where flood water and waste water are known to drain from. Such factors makes the flood contingency plan of Antananarivo obsolete and the authorities are yet to deal with the unauthorized housing development in the risk areas.

On 16 January 2015, the tropical cyclone Chezda hit Madagascar, which caused the Antananarivo pumping station (used to drain rain and waste water from the city) to break down, causing the levels of surrounding rivers to rise. This led to the government issuing a red alert in the capital city. The flood caused considerable damage within Madagascar’s central region (Analamanga) central, southern region (Menabe), southeast (Vatovavy Fitovinany and Atsimo Atsinanana), as well as western parts of the island.

As of 30 January 2015, according to preliminary assessments by the Malagasy Red Cross Society (CRM), 80,000 people had been affected, with more than 20,000 living in temporary shelters throughout the country including more than 16,000 in Antananarivo. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), 68 people were killed.

On 2 February 2015, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released CHF 262,902 from the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) to support CRM to meet the immediate needs of 3,000 households (15,000 people) in the sectors of emergency shelter , non-food items (NFIs), water, sanitation and hygiene, for a period of three months. As of 5 February 2015, the final official statement of the Malagasy disaster management office (Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes, BNGRC) reported that 173,970 people were affected, 80 killed and 9 missing. With the exception of Antananarivo, most of those who had been displaced were gradually returning to their homes by early February.

From 14 February 2015, rainfall increased yet again and significantly affected the regions of Alaotra Mangoro, Analamanga (including the capital, Antananarivo) and Vakinankaratra, causing landslides and 26 more people were killed. After the failure of river banks to protect the Sisaony river, flooding in the greater Antananarivo worsened, and again on 27 February 2015, a red alert was declared. On 9 March 2015, it was reported that 93,000 people were affected and 40,000 displaced (BNGRC). In Antananarivo, 36,000 people were displaced and 1,831 houses flooded or destroyed. In addition, nearly 13,100 hectares of rice fields were flooded, and many schools remained closed with others being used as temporary shelters.

On 6 March 2015, the Prime Minister decided to gather all of those displaced in Antananarivo in a large camp within Andohatapenaka, which was the city’s former slaughterhouse. The site was originally set up to accommodate up to 24,000 displaced people. The movement of people to the camp began in an ad hoc and informal manner, when neither proper infrastructure nor a registration system was in place. The government of Madagascar (GoM) planned to keep this site open for three months and, in May offered the families who had nowhere to return to a resettlement program in Ankazobe, 140km north of the capital. About 100 families took the offer and have since moved there.

On 23 March 2015, an operations update was issued extending the operation by an additional 2 months at the request of CRM with an increased DREF allocation of CHF 189,985 (totalling CHF 452,887 for the full 5 month operation) to allow for the expansion of the activities to support an additional 2,000 households (10,000 people) which were affected by the floods, and who were living in camps in the city of Antananarivo. A total of 5,000 households (25,000 people) have been targeted for assistance by the CRM.

This DREF was replenished by the Canadian Red Cross / Government, DG ECHO, Italian Government, Korean Government and Netherlands Red Cross / Silent Emergencies Fund. The major donors and partners of the DREF include the Red Cross Societies and governments of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the USA, as well as DG ECHO, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) the Medtronic and Zurich and other corporate and private donors.

The IFRC, on behalf of the Malagasy Red Cross Society would like to extend its thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.