Cyclone-Prone Madagascar Prepares For Future

Displaced families in Madagascar receiving ShelterBox tents and helping setting up the camp in Toliara, March 2013.

Displaced families in Madagascar receiving ShelterBox tents and helping setting up the camp in Toliara, March 2013.

Frequent cyclones regularly destroy tens of thousands of homes in Madagascar, a country that feels the force of around 60 per cent of the storms that form over the Indian Ocean every year. Being prepared for disaster makes all the difference.

Working closely with Madagascar’s Bureau for Risk and Disaster Management agency (BNGRC), ShelterBox has responded to cyclones in the country every year for the last three years, bringing emergency shelter and other lifesaving supplies to families who have lost everything. There is a constant prepositioned stock of ShelterBoxes in BNGRC’s warehouse to enable both organisations to help families in need as soon as possible.

Last March a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) responded to the country’s ‘worst flood since 1978,’ according to Colonal Miha from BNGRC. A camp was set up in Toliara, southwestern Madagascar, for the community who had all their belongings washed away by Cyclone Haruna. Now families have rebuilt their homes they no longer need ShelterBox tents and have returned them to BNGRC who will store them for future disasters.

‘Build resilience’

‘These tents are still the property of the displaced people of Madagascar but they, as well as the Mayor of Toliara, think it’s best to now store them in our facility to be used for shelter during the next inevitable disaster,’ said Miha. ‘This will ensure that the future needs of anyone affected in the event of another crisis will be satisfied very quickly.’

‘Although unusual, this is a great idea that is increasing the Madagascan community’s capacity to be prepared for future disasters, and helps to build resilience; essential to a country that regularly is hit by storms,’ added Dave Ray, ShelterBox Operations Coordinator. ‘ShelterBox and BNGRC will be able to respond to displaced families needs more effectively and rapidly in the future.’

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