Madagascar: young single mothers affected

Photo credit: Aide et Action Afrique

The recent cyclones that hit the island caused flooding affecting homes and crops. They affected the main areas where the beneficiaries of our Sandratra project live, thus aggravating the already precarious situation of many single mothers. Hence Aide et Action's decision to launch an emergency fund to contribute to the material and food security of these young mothers and their children in Madagascar.

Madagascar has been particularly hard hit by major climatic events over the past two months. Cyclones Batsirai and Emnati swept along the east coast of Madagascar, devastating everything in their path, flooding villages and destroying homes. According to figures released by the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC), 121 people died and nearly 150,000 were affected. Nearly 70,000 of them were forced to seek shelter in 154 flood shelters.

But it was tropical depression Ana that caused the most damage in the city of Antananarivo and caused a great deal of damage in the areas where our Sandratra project. "At least 34 people have died, almost all in the capital, where traditional houses have collapsed and others have been swept away by landslides," the UN agency OCHA said. Heavy rains and gusty winds have washed away almost everything in some parts of the capital. Almost all the houses in the lower neighbourhoods were damaged. More than 35,000 people were displaced or preventively evacuated in Antananarivo. Many primary schools were closed to serve as accommodation sites for the victims.

Wind gusts of over 240 km/h

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"The roofs were blown off, our kitchen utensils were washed away. Beds were flooded and chairs were washed away. We tried to go to the shelters but there was no more room," says Rebeka, a young single mother and beneficiary of the Sandratra project.

"We are in a very complicated situation. The bosses for whom we used to fetch water have also left because of the flooding in our neighbourhood. We had to sell all our chickens. We are waiting for help from the municipality but have received nothing so far," adds Vololomihantra, also a young single mother and a beneficiary of the Sandratra project in a district of the capital.

What is Aide et Action's response?

We are working in partnership with the Urban Commune of Antananarivo. Our action targets 170 young isolated mothers who are beneficiaries of the Sandratra project in three districts of the capital, as well as their children. During our on-site assessments, we first identified the most affected families. We will provide these young women and their children with basic necessities (mattresses, blankets, warm clothing, food aid, lighting, soap, hygiene kits, etc.).

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