Famine in Madagascar – the locals eat clay

(ORDO NEWS) — In drought-stricken southern Madagascar, people are forced to stuff their bellies with white clay mixed with tamarind to cope with hunger.

More than a year without rain led to the fact that the locals were on the verge of starvation. Staple foods like cactus fruits cannot grow due to drought.

“If we had something to eat, we would never eat it. But there is no food … we didn’t know before that white clay is edible. We tried to mix it with tamarind and it worked, ”says local resident Dam Zafendraza.

In the neighboring village of Ankilomarovakhets, 9 people died of hunger in September. Torino is a housewife. She says she is quite sure that the death of her children was due to hunger.

“My children did not eat for three days, and then they died because I, their mother, could not feed them. I am sure that hunger killed them. This is not something else, this is not a disease, but hunger. I left early in the morning. and came back in the evening and I saw the body of my child with open eyes, “she said.

The mixture of clay and tamarind is especially difficult for children to digest. According to the World Food Program (WFP)) in the country it causes “bloating”.

Half of the population in the southern region is now in urgent need of food aid, the UN agency said.

Theodore Mbinessem Head of World Food Program Ambombe Office:

“People could not leave their homes because of self-isolation. Taxis, buses, trucks that people used to get to their places of work, stopped moving due to quarantine and people were locked in their homes.

Rising insecurity and livestock thefts have exacerbated poverty and complicated humanitarian relief efforts.

The government dispatched military personnel to distribute food and provide first aid to the area. In October, President Andri Rajoelina, his wife and son distributed rations in the villages.”

Mbinessem warned of disaster unless emergency food aid is provided.

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