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Endless rains

In the 2015 rainy season, after a bad drought in January and an ensuing famine in some areas of southern Madagascar, the region experienced the heaviest downpour in years. Still worse, two cyclones had already afflicted and devastated the area. The heavy rains eventually cut off swathes of the countryside from the outside world, made rivers impassable and swept away bridges. With each deluge, the savanna became a huge chain of lakes. Trucks which should have been bringing food relief to remote villages and materials to our building site would be stuck for days on end in the mud or at river crossings.

After a long drought, the rain revives the land, but the sudden floods bring new problems.

To avoid interruptions to construction works on the new buildings in Fotadrevo, we battled through with our Unimog ambulance truck to the port town of Tulear, 250km away from Fotadrevo, to look for urgently-needed building materials. On the way back, we were also able to pick up electricians and solar technicians from the capital, Antananarivo, for the last bits of work on the new hospital. In a bush taxi, the journey would have been completely impossible. However, despite the inhospitable conditions, our Unimog bumped, slipped and swum us safely to the flooded town of Tulear in 14 hours.


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