Severe drought hits southern Madagascar

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Southern Madagascar has been hit by a severe drought, which has lasted for almost a year and killed many people.

“The death varies from two to ten per day due to drought in our area,” Bernard Tolia, mayor of Anjapaly said.

“A dozen mayors from south including me alerted the government on Monday to look more closely the situation in our area,” Tolia said.

“It has been almost a year that there was no rain. People have to travel 15 kilometers, often by feet, to find drinking water; livestock is suffering and die while cultivation is impossible due to drought,” Tolia added.

Samueline Rarahiveloarimiza, General Director of meteorology in Madagascar, said that “El Nino weather phenomenon will be severe in Madagascar from Oct. 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016.”

Rarahiveloarimiza said the entire southern part of Madagascar will suffer from insufficiency of rain, while other parts of the country will suffer from abundance of rain, which may cause inundation.

In a statement published on Monday, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are expanding their operations in response to growing food insecurity as a result of poor harvests across much of southern Africa.

The intensity of the El Nino is increasing towards a peak expected in late 2015, and may become one of the strongest such events on record.

The region faces the risk of another poor rainfall season and harvest resulting in a significant increase in food and nutrition insecurity in the region, the statement said.

There will be an estimated 27.4 million food-insecure people in the region during the next six months, the statement added.

But most at threat from immediate food insecurity are Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar which all suffered severe crop failure due to extended dry spells, FAO and WFP said.

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