Madagascar Floods – Relief Efforts Increased as More Rain Expected

Madagascar was battered by heavy rains during the first days of March 2015. Since then 25 people have died, 4,800 houses have been destroyed and 35,000 people forced from their homes in the capital Antananarivo.

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) “People are seeking shelter wherever they can, including schools”.

Madagascar is bracing itself further heavy rainfall this week. The situation could be made worst still by the chance of yet more rain that may come in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Haliba, despite the cyclone taking a path into the Indian Ocean and away from land. Twenty-two towns remain on high alert, ready to evacuate should the expected rainfall lead to further floods.

Malagasy Red Cross Society  Antananarivo region, Madagascar, 2015
Malagasy Red Cross Society
Antananarivo region, Madagascar, 2015

Red Cross Response

With more heavy rains expected this week, the Malagasy Red Cross Society has teams and materials positioned and ready to respond to growing needs following already extensive flooding which has left thousands homeless.

According to a statement by IFRC:

“Malagasy Red Cross Society has deployed volunteer teams to the affected sites, where they have built 80 emergency shelters in Grand Tana, using prepositioned stocks by the Indian Ocean Platform for Regional Intervention (PIROI). Teams are involved in conducting damage assessments and sharing messages with communities to ensure they remain on alert for the possibility of further flooding and the need for evacuation”.

So far the PIROI has delivered 57 tonnes of emergency supplies from warehouses in Antananarivo and Reunion to support the Malagasy Red Cross Society in responding to the crisis.

Water-borne Diseases

The Red Cross say there is particular concern about the outbreak of water-borne diseases, given the damage done to water points. They say that Red Cross teams are assisting in delivering potable water and conducting hygiene promotion sessions with those living in temporary sites.