Climate Change Caused Famine in Madagascar


The recent natural disasters around the world are sending alarms to the public, however, this is nothing new to the people of Madagascar. Madagascar is suffering from devastating droughts for the past 4 years.

The UN statistic shows between 720 and 811 million people faced hunger in 2020 and in Madagascar alone more than 60% of the population suffers from food insecurity.

In 2019, a lack of rainfall and a powerful El Nino phenomenon, the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, caused the 90% of the crops in agriculture loss and has contributed to the famine in the country till now.

Families are living on insects for their food supply, according to Tamaria, a mother:

My children and I have been eating [insect] every day now for eight months because we have nothing else to eat and no rain to allow us to harvest what we have sown

Climate Change in Madagascar

According to the IPCC report, Madagascar is seen as one of the driest places due to the change in weather patterns.

The geographic location of Madagascar is vulnerable to climate change as the increase in temperature causes an unstable atmosphere, especially on the coast. With an increase in temperature, dry seasons become drier, and lack of rainfall creating droughts, making farmers unable to grow crops.

Moreover, the El Nino phenomenon causes warm water to build up along the equator in the eastern Pacific, warming up the atmosphere, leading moisture-rich air to rise and develop into rainstorms. This kind of phenomenon causes the harvest to be ruined, taking away food resources for the locals to consume.

If you are interested in the summary of the IPCC report, check Earth’s Alarming Report Card from IPCC is a warning signal for Climate Action for more.

What can be done in the Future

So what can Madagascar do to improve its famine situation?

One of the solutions proposed is water management. Water management is considered to be one of the important solutions to solving the famine in Madagascar. By being able to predict the rainfall patterns and use of rainy seasons to manage water resources, it can allow farmers to prepare to increase their crops during that period to prepare for the dry seasons, according to looking at the atmospheric data at Santa Barbara University in California, director of the Climate Hazards Center, Chris Funk.

Understanding Climate Change

Water management might help with Madagascar's harvest issue
The situation in Madagascar is not brought to them by themselves. Most developing countries suffer the consequences of climate change, which is usually contributed by industries and developed countries with much resources to spend. Moreover, it is not only developing countries that are affected by these extreme climatic conditions. There are heatwaves, wildfires, and floods around the world that we cannot control, yet are caused by our daily actions such as excessive greenhouse gases causing temperature rise and climate change.

It is important to understand that climate changes affect different people in different ways and that they can cause severe harm to people and their lifestyles. Keeping yourself informed with climate news and ensuring we look over our daily actions is one crucial step we could take to lessen the impact of climate change on our world and people.

If you are interested in knowing more about climate change news around the world, check out our articles on Wildfires around the World: Where and Why and Heat Waves: What is Happening Around the World and What Can We Do?

Author: Thiri Zaw Yazawa
Member of Ethical Choice
Started my ethical journey with knowing the truth about pet shops and cafes. Enthusiastic to find interesting ethical products and ideas around the world. Always challenging myself to start small for bigger changes every day because there is no planet B.