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Excessive rain degrading physical access to Southern Madagascar

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • January 2019
Excessive rain degrading physical access to Southern Madagascar

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Two tropical cyclones have affected Madagascar since the beginning of 2019. Cyclone Desmond crossed the Mozambique Channel on January 20th and caused heavy rainfall in southwestern Madagascar. Flooding was reported in Tulear I and near the Fiherenana River which damaged cornfields, and parts of the RN 10  highway near the Onilahy and Linta Rivers were inaccessible - limiting market supplies. Cyclone Ekestang landed in northeastern Madagascar on January 21st with low winds but heavy rain. It flooded rice fields in the middle west of Madagascar and brought more rain to southwestern Madagascar.

    • Dried cassava currently sold in southern markets mainly comes from Ihosy and Ankaramena, while maize is from Andranovory, and pulses are from the surrounding communes. Even though markets are functioning, supplies are low due to inaccessible roads from the ongoing rain. Secondary roads serving remote communes are in similarly poor condition. As a result, food delivery to markets is delayed by three times the normal time.

    • Globally, rice prices stabilized in the last three months. They remain at last year’s level and 20 percent above the 5-year average. Maize prices have been increasing since April 2018 and are current 20 percent above last year and 20 to 90 percent above normal, particularly in deficit areas like Beloha and Tsihombe. Dried cassava prices increased throughout 2018 and are currently 30 percent higher than last year’s level and 20 percent above the 5-year average. The greatest increases are observed in Southern Madagascar due to the scarcity of local production and most recently due to higher transportation costs and delivery delays.

    • Poor households’ diets are mainly composed of dried cassava in southern Madagascar, complemented with wild tubers and fruits. In January 2019, consumption of wild mangoes (only accessible in markets) and cactus fruit was common. Cactus fruits were rare in January in coastal areas because households had even eaten the cactus leaves from October-December 2018. New plants are now growing or are at their flowering stage with the recent rains. In inland areas, yellow cactus is more available and accessible; and widely sold at markets.

    • Poor and very poor households in the Mahafaly plains (MG23 livelihood zone) in the southwest of Madagascar continue to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity. Households are highly dependent on markets while prices remain above normal and income sources are limited. In Androy Semi-Arid Cassava, Maize and Livestock (MG 24 livelihood zone), food security is also deteriorating due to the ongoing lean season and high dependence on wild food consumption; the area remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Food insecurity is less severe in the Southeast (MG 19) and Rice and lima bean (MG 20) livelihood zones where some harvests have been observed. These areas remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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