MADAGASCAR: Maronama, 'That one night changed my whole life'

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Maronama, 53, lost everything she owned when cyclone Indlala tore through northeastern Madagascar in March. She spoke to IRIN about the terrifying experience.

"That one night changed my whole life - I lost everything and I don't know what to do. I'm a widow and have five children and six grandchildren to take care of. If I had died I don't know what would have happened to the family.

It happened in the evening when the sun was setting and I saw the river was rising. We have had other cyclones before but I have never seen anything like this before in my life.

I took two children on my back and called for everyone to take what they could carry and run. Our houses were destroyed and we lost all our possessions. We managed to save our cooking pots, everything else was taken by the river.

More than 10 people now stay in this [one-room] house [in Ambolodibe East, Befandriana district]. I don't have any money so we try to live day by day. I cultivated rice, manioc and vanilla but now all my crops are destroyed.

We would like to rebuild one house, on higher ground further from the river, but we don't have any money. We have to wait for the next harvest and hope that it is good. Now the priority is the health of the children - they need to eat before we can build a new house ... I hope the community will come together to help and take care of each other."


Source: IRIN