The current crisis had also led to an
increase in the numbers of street children in places like the
Madagascan capital of Antananarivo, already home to thousands of
children begging on the streets.
80% of the population living in poverty in rural communities
largely etching out a life on small plots of land barely 1.3
hectares in size, and with water a scare resource with more than
half of all children under the age of five dying of diarrhoea in
the country mainly die to a lack of sanitation.
Just 18% of Madagascar's schools have access
to drinking water and only 30% have toilets ~ children are
encouraged to bring in bottled water but as one youngster
explains "I draw from a river close to our house. I drink it
when I am thirsty, even if it is not clean." 40% of all
Madagascan children suffer from malnutrition.
Throw into this the fact that the country is regularly
battered by cyclones and storms that cause
widespread damage to the country's already brittle
infrastructure and you can see just how harsh life is in
Madagascar. The person who made the short video
documentary about village life in Madagascar (below) should be given an
Oscar for so beautifully capturing glimpses of life and the
amusement and bewilderment on the faces of children who live in the small
village of Analila in the northern Mahajanga Province of
Madagascar, a village surrounded by rich rainforest where
organisations like the WWF are working with locals to ensure the
rainforest remains sustainable.