Madagascar

Madagascar: Situation Report Tropical Storm Hubert No. 2

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Situation Report
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HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES

- Access remains a major issue within the eight districts affected by "HUBERT", as 80% of roads are cut or damaged.

- Chronically prone to shocks and malnutrition, the affected areas are currently at the peak of the lean season, and are densely populated with an estimated 2.4 million people in hard-to-reach zones due to many rivers and streams.

- A USAID baseline carried out in these areas in November 2009 reported 53.5% chronic malnutrition, 34.1% underweight and 10.5% wasting (as per WHO 2005 standards) in the 6-59 months population.

- Many of the people initially made homeless have returned to their homes after water levels subsided. Six districts face various hardships, mainly loss of harvest in the coming months, exposure to epidemics such as chikungunya which has already affected these regions prior to the floods, and inaccessibility to basic health services and potable water.

- UNICEF has reported 303 water wells flooded, and damages to 81 latrines and 48 schools.

- WHO and the Ministry of Health have reported that 22 health centres are damaged (2 hospitals), 30 non functional (23 prior to the disaster), 21 inaccessible and 55 without immunization activities.

- WFP assessment in Manakara and Vohipeno confirmed by FAO found that rice crops have been completely flooded and are still under water. Distress crops have not been spared. Cassava is also under water and rotten bread fruit has fallen from the trees and has been eaten in the week. Livestock are stuck in the mud. Prices of rice, oil, sugar have already drastically increased in all major markets of the region.

- FAO estimates that if seeds are provided timely and in sufficient quantity, rice, maize, beans and vegetables can still be planted for a late and limited harvest in July. Otherwise, no harvest is to be expected before next November.

- The aerial assessment carried out by CARE International/USAID has confirmed the severity of the floods and the high percentage of isolated localities.

- On 18 March, the Humanitarian Country Team met with USAID and the African Development Bank (BAD). and agreed to: (1) carry out a multi-sectoral rapid assessment using a helicopter; (2) reinforce national information management and regional coordination; and (3)allow the most affected households to resume farming without delays. The rapid assessment will start on 26 March.

- To urgently transport relief goods to the affected areas, OCHA has approved an Emergency Cash Grant to the UNCT of US$100,000

- Priority actions have continued: mobilization of pre-stocking relief items (shelter, agricultural inputs, foods and non-food items, WASH kits, mosquito nets and medicine), restoration of traffic as soon as possible, free of charge health management of the affected population.