Cyclone Haruna hit the south west coast of Madagascar on 22 February. According to current estimates, 18 people have been killed and 22,000 displaced by the storm to date (27 February). Seven districts (out of 118 in the country as a whole) were hit by the cyclone. Handicap International, which is present in the district of Toliary, is taking part in the humanitarian response.
The organisation is helping to coordinate the relief effort and is currently responsible for identifying and assisting displaced people at the Antaninarenina high school and their temporary rehousing in one of two sites identified as equipped reception areas (a gymnasium in Toliary and a military camp in the urban district of Toliary). There are 547 people in this group of displaced people, including 177 children aged under 5, 24 pregnant women an d 56 breast-feeding women. They currently live in makeshift accommodation and their transfer is in the process of being organised.
Handicap International already operates in this district through its “prisons” project - set up four years ago - in the Toliary prison. The project takes a psycho-social approach to improving the living conditions of prisoners. The prison’s food stocks have been destroyed by the flooding, and the facilities in the prison have been damaged, without affecting the cells in which some 550 prisoners are housed. The current priority is therefore to distribute food stocks to the prison.