As droughts become more frequent and severe, scientists are focusing on the impact on food and water supplies. But an investigation by a Washington Post team shows the effects of such food shortages are complicated.
Eleven of Madagascar’s 17 provinces have been classified as “in severe drought.” Meanwhile, the nation’s government has asked for international aid, after rains promised for last season fell on the Asian monsoon season instead.
Researchers point to a study they published in 2002, which examined the impact of last November’s drought on Malagasy communities in Luvinteceni, which is in north-western Madagascar.
The data, when taken together, show just how fragile this nation is—and how needs can outrun supply. For instance, in Luvinteceni, where the UN supplies beans and rice, dry porridge was being sold this past spring for 400 megs, roughly $10. This is cheaper than the original price, but local people still complain they can’t feed their children.
In desperation, men and women have plucked leaves, grabbed rotting vines and left stale bread to wit outfood.
© 2020, Washington Post Writers Group