The water crisis in Madagascar

La crisi idrica in Madagascar

In the first half of 2021 there were droughts all over the world, from the US to Brazil, caused by an increase in domestic and agricultural use of water and a decrease in annual rainfall. One of the most affected territories is the Madagascar, whose situation is worsening from year to year due to less and less frequent rains and continuous invasions of locusts. According to a report by ReliefWeb, the situation is particularly serious in the south of the country, which has not been in a period of such severe drought since 1981.



The water crisis is becoming central not only to the country’s hydration. Shelley Thakral of the World Food Program summarized its consequences as follows: “No water means: no education. No food. By 2022, more than one million children will suffer from acute cases of malnutrition. "

Madagascar is not unprepared for frequent droughts, due to the climatic phenomenon El Niño, an overheating of the waters of the Central-Southern and Eastern Pacific Ocean that creates severe agricultural crises and losses of plantations and crops, especially in the southern part of the country. The arrival of El Niño in 2017 left almost 1 million people in severe food insecurity, and the phenomenon has been repeated every year.

However, added to what the United Nations has called the first "Famine caused by global warming", Madagascar is in a moment of great crisis: about 30 thousand people are already at Level 5 of food insecurity, the highest recognized by world organizations.

To date, in Madagascar 40% of the population it has no access to uncontaminated water sources, and this number is likely to increase if a long-term water management plan, to ensure continuous and safe access to water for both personal and agricultural use, in anticipation of future famines.

The famine in Madagascar dictated by climate change, however, is not the only one in the world, and second Franziska Gaupp of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria: "The likelihood of simultaneous drought in multiple regions is increasing. Simultaneous crop losses in major producing regions can cause price spikes and have cascading effects on access to food, famines and food riots. "

For this reason, the management of advanced and long-term water resources is necessary at an international level, not to "plug a hole" but to be able to ensure the personal and economic tranquility of millions of people even in the face of events like these, increasingly frequent.