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AIC volunteers are mobilizing after the ‘Batsirai’ Cyclone in Madagascar

Several cottages, built for single mothers by AIC volunteers, have been damaged by Batsirai. The village is flooded.

Reported on February 22nd, 2022

In the aftermath of the ‘Batsirai’ Cyclone, which devastated the island of Madagascar on February 5-6th (see article below), the volunteers of AIC Manakara have started distributing food to victims. They have visited the affected families and found that at least 30 of the small houses built by AIC are no longer habitable. They want to rebuild them as soon as possible, with the help of their partners AIC USA and the Friends of AIC Madagascar.

In Fort Dauphin, the ‘Akany Avotra’ children’s home has been spared, while in Fianarantsoa the devastation is considerable and has not been assessed yet. Volunteers are also expecting news from their AIC groups in Farafangana and the surrounding villages, which they have not been able to reach yet.

The State Disaster Management Agency has estimated the death toll from Cyclone ‘Batsirai’ at 120. According to the agency, the homes of just over 124,000 people have been damaged or destroyed, and another 30,000 people have been left homeless and are now living in temporary shelters and tents.

After the ‘Ana’ Cyclone, which also claimed many victims, ‘Batsirai’ is the second destructive storm to hit Madagascar in a fortnight, and the cyclone season is not over yet. Cyclone ‘Bumako’ is already expected this week, this time in the northeast of the island.

Reported on February 8th, 2022

Once again, Madagascar has been hit by a natural disaster that has received little media coverage. This time, the Batsirai Cyclone traced a path of devastation from the south-eastern coast across the southern highlands to the coast of Mozambique, devastating mainly the towns of Mananjary, Manakara (the town in which the AIC President lives), Farafangana, Fort Dauphin and Fianarantsoa in particular, as well as countless villages, causing at least 20 deaths and a large number of injuries. Two weeks earlier, Cyclone Ana had already caused floods and landslides in the capital Antananarivo, killing about 50 people. This time as well, the less well-built houses of the most disadvantaged people are the main ones that have been destroyed, but schools and churches have also been affected. Since most of the AIC groups and the ‘Akany Avotra’ children’s home are located in the affected region, AIC volunteers, although suffering from the devastation themselves, can provide direct aid that will reach its destination immediately. On the other hand, government aid – initially drinking water and food – is only slowly getting underway. It will take time for water pipes and electricity to be restored, which is also making communication difficult. We have not heard from the Akany Avotra children’s home yet, but the south has been a bit less affected and the house is well-constructed.

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