Climate change is battering the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar and several U.N. agencies have warned in the past few months of a climate change famine.
“The situation in the south of the country is really worrying,” said Alice Rahmoun, a spokeswoman with the United Nations’ World Food Programme in Madagascar.
“I visited several districts… and heard from families how the changing climate has driven them to hunger.”
Rainfall patterns in Madagascar are growing more erratic – they’ve been below average for nearly six years, said researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
“In some villages, the last proper rain was three years ago, in others, eight years ago or even 10 years ago,” said Rahmoun. “Fields are bare, seeds do not sprout and there is no food.”
Temperatures in southern Africa are rising at double the global rate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.
Cyclones, already more frequent in Madagascar than any other African country, are likely getting stronger as the earth warms, the U.S. government says.
“Climate change strongly impacts and strongly accentuates the famine in Madagascar,” President Andry Rajoelina said while visiting the worst-affected areas earlier this month.
“Madagascar is a victim of climate change.”
The country produces less than 0.01% of global carbon dioxide emissions, the World Carbon Project says.