Tropical Cyclone Batsirai made landfall as a Category 3 cyclone on the east coast of Madagascar—14 kilometres north of the city of Mananjary on 5 February. At least 121 people have died and more than 29,000 people remain displaced, according to the latest update received from the National Disaster Risk Management Agency (BNGRC). Humanitarian partners are working closely with the BNGRC to provide emergency relief assistance in the affected areas, though access remains difficult to some cut-off districts. Transport, storage and handling capacities in the affected districts also remain an issue.
On 22 February, a new tropical cyclone named Emnati has reached Madagascar in the late evening. Emnati is the fourth tropical storm to make landfall in Madagascar in one month, following Tropical Storm Ana (22 January), Tropical Cyclone Batsirai (5 February), Tropical Storm Dumako (15 February), and an inter-tropical convergence zone which impacted Madagascar on 17 January. Communities that were hardest-hit by Tropical Cyclone Batsirai are likely to be impacted again by Emnati, which is expected to make landfall between the cities of Mananjary and Manakara. Response efforts are ongoing, led by the Government with support from humanitarian partners.
MOBILIZING THE LOCAL PRIVATE SECTOR AS PARTNERS IN EMERGENCY RESPONSE
The Private Sector Humanitarian Platform (PSHP) is a non-profit association of more than 25 companies based in Madagascar and a member of the OCHA/UNDP Connecting Business initiative (CBi). PSHP aims to support disaster risk reduction, disaster management, and early recovery efforts in partnership with government and humanitarian and development stakeholders.
PSHP is closely coordinating with the BNGRC and the local OCHA Humanitarian Advisory Team to contribute to ongoing response efforts. Among other activities, PSHP has:
Activated the PSHP Contingency Plan, sharing disaster information and working with their corporate members to conduct a mapping of resources and make available supplies and equipment as appropriate. Before Batsirai made landfall, PSHP coordinated with companies located near the forecasted point of impact to ensure maritime and aerial transportation could be utilized by first responders.
Deployed disaster management personnel (seconded from the AXIAN Foundation) to serve as private sector focal points and first-line responders in affected areas, including Mahanoro.
PSHP and its Member Companies have prepositioned and begun the distribution of relief items, for example:
In partnership with Électricité de Madagascar, BushProof, and Assistance Plus, PSHP has prepositioned food and non-food items including handwashing devices and soap which can be readily deployed to assist 250 people in Mananjary. Another PSHP member has provided 34 smartphones equipped with mobile data to assist volunteers participating in the initial damage and needs assessment coordinated by the BNGRC.
Mvola, one of PSHP members, has waived transfer fees on mobile cash transfers provided by the World Food Programme and other partners to displaced families.
Ambatovy, another member of the platform, has provided passenger transport to humanitarians through the company aircraft.
PSHP has launched a call to donations and coordinating the distribution of in-kind contributions with the BNGRC. Over a ton of supplies that were prepositioned for Storm Ana, mostly hygiene kits and clothes, have already reached Mananjary district.
Telma, one of Madagascar major telecommunications operators, has donated solar generators and food packs to employees of the national post office and their families displaced by the cyclone.
Other private sector companies are also providing financial and in-kind contributions. For example, local banks have partnered to offer cargo transport to Mananjary and Manakara.