ALVARO emergency response in southeast Madagascar

On January 2024, ADRA Madagascar conducted his first emergency response of the year after the passage of Alvaro tropical storm. Alvaro hit the southeastern part of the country on the New Year’s Day bringing heavy rains and strong winds, affecting thousands of families during the festivities.

According to a report of the country’s Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et catastrophes (National Bureau of Risk Management), 19 people died and 32,897 were displaced as a result of Alvaro. The Fitovinany region on the southeast coast was particularly impacted by floodings caused by heavy rains.

In Onjatsy, a town in the Fitovinany region along the river of Matitanana, 395 families were displaced. The storm destroyed hundreds of dwellings and flooded a large part of the rice fields in this location where the majority of the population are farmers.

Onjatsy rural commune, Vohipeno district.

With the objective to provide an emergency assistance for the hardest hit families of this town, ADRA activated its national emergency plan to implement an initial response. Through a collaboration with the local authorities and volunteers from the local Seventh-Day Adventist Church, ADRA selected 300 most vulnerable families to benefit from the assistance.

As part of ADRA’s national emergency plan, its Emergency Team was deployed to conduct the response along with the young volunteers. The families received rice, beans, cooking oil, iodized salt and a soap bar from ADRA. In addition, kitchen kits from USAID, ADRA’s main donor in the region, were also distributed to the beneficiaries.

Lucie, mother of eight children, was among the beneficiaries. Her house was flooded, and she lost many assets, including her kitchen utensils. “During a number of days, we had no plates, so we resorted to eating with leaves,” she said. Although her family was deeply affected by Alvaro, ADRA’s response was a relief for them. “Your assistance is a real comfort for our community. We went through difficult times after the passage of the cyclone because the floods destroyed everything,” Lucie said.

Lucie, beneficiary.

ADRA has responded to major disasters that occurred in southeastern Madagascar and has implemented Disaster Risk and Reduction activities to strengthen the population’s ability to prepare for and to face disasters induced by climate change.