The South of Madagascar is hit by a severe drought. Poor rainfall since October 2019 have resulted to loss of crops and drying out of water sources. Populations in most affected areas are facing a severe food insecurity and acute malnutrition.
Ampanihy, a District in the south west region is among the most affected areas, and rates of severe acute malnutrition among small children are significantly high. Families cannot buy, or even find food and resort to eating wild plants.
For Marentsoa, today a single mother of 12 children, it is extremely hard to find food for her children: “The soil is dry, we are suffering, I cannot work, and I am tired.
All we can eat is mango because I don’t have money.
I cannot do any job so how can I buy food? There are not even enough mangos because there has been no rain.
Today, we will eat nothing. I’m just going to boil some leaves to fill our stomachs”, she said.
Her youngest son, only 7 months old, shows signs of severe acute malnutrition. “My son is really weak, because I cannot even breastfeed him. I have no breast milk to give him”, she said.
In November 2020, ADRA assisted 350 families in Ampanihy, providing emergency food relief for children suffering from acute malnutrition, pregnant and lactating mothers, and elderly or disabled people. Marentsoa’s family was among the beneficiaries, and received rice, oil, beans and salt from ADRA. “I am so happy that you come to help and save us. Thank you so much”, she said.