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Madagascar: Drought - Aug 2018

Disaster types

Severe drought conditions during southern Madagascar’s rainy season from November 2017 to April 2018 has led to nearly dry dams in many parts of the south. This dryness has affected livestock’s access to water and pastureland, which has led to poor livestock body conditions as many are subsisting on burnt cactus leaves in the absence of viable pastureland. This has similarly affected crop development, with many areas experiencing failed or near failed harvests. Only Ambovombe commune received favorably heavy rains in July that allowed some farmers to plant new maize and potato crops...Poor and very poor households in MG23 (the Mahafaly plains) in the southwest of Madagascar are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity because of poor or failed agricultural production and the resulting early dependence on markets for food. In Androy Semi-Arid Cassava, Maize and Livestock (MG 24), food security is deteriorating following the harvest period as stocks deplete and poor and very poor households are currently in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with the exception of Ambovombe where the situation is better. Food insecurity is less severe in the Southeast (MG 19) and Rice and lima bean (MG 20) which remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The rest of the country remains in Minimal (IPC Phase 1). (FEWS NET, 30 Aug 2018)

According to Crop and Food Security Assessment (CFSAM) of August 2018, rainfall deficits and fall armyworm attacks have had significant impact on food production levels (particularly staple crops such as maize and cassava), compromising access to food for the majority of households...In coordination with the Government of Madagascar and in collaboration with the humanitarian community, WFP’s response plan will focus on providing food and nutritional assistance to the populations that are classified in IPC crisis and in emergency phases from September-December 2018. Out of 1.3 million people who are classified in IPC crisis (3) and emergency (4) phases, WFP aims to provide food assistance and nutritional support to 849,000 people using a combination of food and cash-based modalities. It is expected that other actors in the food security sector (government and NGOs) will provide assistance to 35% of the population in IPC 3 and 4 phases. A second response phase to support drought-affected communities through early recovery interventions is planned for the January-March 2019 period. During both response phases, WFP will work closely with FAO and other food security and livelihoods cluster members to ensure that the assistance provided is complementary. (WFP, 9 Oct 2018)

Poor and very poor households in the Mahafaly plains (MG23) in the southwest continue to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity because of depleted food stocks and assets, and high dependence on markets while prices are increasing drastically. Androy Semi-Arid Cassava, Maize and Livestock livelihood zone (MG24) is in Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) due to assistance, but food security is deteriorating as the lean season progresses and households are becoming more dependent on wild food consumption. The level of food insecurity is less severe in the Southeast (MG 19) and Rice and lima beans livelihood zone (MG 20), which both remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). (FEWS NET, 30 Nov 2018)

Despite an overall improvement in the food security situation compared to last year, several fragile pockets remain, especially in the south. An estimated 730,500 people are severely food insecure (IPC phase 3 and 4) from June to July 2019. About 916,200 people (26 per cent of the rural population) are projected to be food insecure in the southern regions from August to December 2019, compared to 1.3 million in the previous year. The multi-sectoral humanitarian response and the good rainfall during the growing season have contributed to this decrease. About 188,550 children under age 5 are likely to suffer acute malnutrition due to inadequate food intake, low food diversity, poor access to safe drinking water and high prevalence of diseases. Madagascar also continues to record widespread Fall Armyworm infestations and drought across the south-west of the island. (SADC, OCHA, 31 Jul 2019)