Unlike most of the past famines driven
by war, inflation, violence, this is the first time in modern history where the
famine is directly caused by climate change. Recently UN has announced that
Madagascar is on the brink of experiencing the world’s first “climate change
famine”. Thousands of people are already suffering from hunger and food
insecurity. The drought which is worst in four decades has devastated insulated
farming communities in the southern Madagascar. People are forced to eat
locusts, wild leaves, mud and cactus fruit to survive.
According to UN more than 1.14 million
people in the south of Indian Ocean country are food insecure due to the drought.
Many food Experts have said that there is no single factor behind all this.
While droughts are not new to Madagascar, the severity of the current drought
has been heightened by extreme climate change. Humanitarian agencies say that the
situation is exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic which has also interrupted the
supply chains, increasing unemployment and limiting access to food markets.
According to an IPCC Report, Madagascar
has observed an increase in aridity. Increased number of heatwaves and rising
temperatures makes the drought worse. Africa is a sensitive continent when it
comes to climate change which has a drastic impact on indigenous communities.
The semi-arid conditions of the southern Madagascar combined with high levels
of soil erosion and deforestation has transformed the arable land into a
wasteland. Conditions are about to get worse as Madagascar is going to enter
its annual “lean season”, a time of year when food availability is most scarce.
The southern Madagascar have contributed
little to the carbon emission (about 0.01%) but yet it is witnessing the worst
effects of climate change. The people here have done nothing to deserve this,
they don’t burn fossil fuels and yet they are bearing the brunt of climate
change. Many organizations like World Food Program (WFP) were called for
funding to help these people to stop their suffering. This is very critical
time for the people in the southern Madagascar.