Madagascar: Government gets help to storm victims

JOHANNESBURG, 9 January (IRIN) - The government of Madagascar has not yet declared a state of emergency, but has moved swiftly to alleviate suffering in the wake of tropical storm Cyprian, which hit the southwestern region on 2 January.
In its latest situation report released on Tuesday, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said the government had already distributed one tm of rice, tents and other goods to residents in the Onondaga, Moro be and Toiler districts, which were most severely affected.

According to the report, an inter-agency reconnaissance flight over the affected areas was conducted on 5 January, confirming initial estimations of damage. It said about 900 people, especially from the coastal areas, were affected in Moro be, and that about 1,000 people were affected in Onondaga. In addition, two people were reported missing in Moro be, it added. The estimated damage caused by Cyprian was estimated to be about US $181,000.

UNDP Resident Representative in Madagascar Adam Guido told IRAN on Wednesday that flooding had begun to subside. However, he said: "The information I have indicates we will have a very active cyclone season. We don't know if the storms or cyclones will reach land or fade away, but the season is definitely predicted to be very active this year."

In anticipation of the rainy season, he said, the UNDP, in conjunction with the government and other partners, had developed a strategy to deal with the impact of possible flooding.

According to the situation report: "In preparation for this cyclone season priority was given to providing training to trainers from the cyclone zone districts. At the moment the trainers are in the process of educating the community."

It said that eight staffers equipped with motorcycles and communication facilities had been recruited and assigned in the cyclone prone districts. These staffers were in contact with 18 other National Council for Disaster Management (CNS) centres via voice and mail.

As a result of the progress made in building the capacity of the government, it is believed that the response to cyclones and other disasters will be considerably improved this year," the situation report said.

Madagascar has suffered two consecutive years of devastating floods due to tropical storms and cyclones. Last year, its agriculture-based economy was severely affected as a result of adverse summer weather.


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