Humanity & Inclusion teams are now in lockdown to protect themselves from the Category 4 cyclone, about to hit the coast of Madagascar with winds of over 108 mph. Contingency stocks have been replenished to enable distributions to families affected by the storm as soon as the alert is lifted.
"Saturday, at 1 p.m., although the cyclone has not yet hit Madagascar, our teams and partners are reporting unusually violent winds and rainfall,” says Vincent Dalonneau, Humanity & Inclusion's country director in Madagascar. “Batsirai is still about 93 miles from Madagascar and nearing the coast, with areas where the sea is already rising dangerously. We fear that the next few hours and the night to come will be particularly difficult.
"We have done our utmost to prepare for the arrival of this cyclone. Our teams have taken shelter to protect themselves from the violence of the storm, and we have worked with our partners to enable at-risk people and people with disabilities to find safety in secure buildings such as schools or gymnasiums,” Dalonneau adds. “Since Batsirai was announced, we have also been supporting families implementing family emergency plans, reducing the eventual impact of the disaster. We are working closely with other NGOs and local authorities to act quickly, coordinate, and communicate throughout the crisis. Everyone is taking action because the risks are so high for the population."
Evaluating needs as soon as possible
Nearly 70 of Humanity & Inclusion’s staff are on the east coast of Madagascar and ready to intervene, as soon as the security alert is lifted, by going to affected areas and assessing needs, under the coordination of local authorities.
"With the support of Save the Children in particular, we have built up additional stocks of emergency aid, so that we can ensure distributions as soon as possible," Dalonneau explains. "The household kits enable us to provide families with essentials they may have lost during the cyclone: cooking equipment, blankets, candles, dishes, etc. We also have dignity kits with hygiene materials such as soap, toothpaste, water jugs, and water purifiers.
“Depending on the severity of the situation, we will adapt our response to provide effective assistance to those who need it most,” Dalonneau continues. “All our teams across the country are mobilized and we have enough stock to intervene throughout the very first days, the most critical period after any disaster."