There’s been no proper rainfall in southern Madagascar for seven years. The ground is arid, people are suffering from hunger and thirst. The UN says this is the first hunger crisis directly caused by climate change. But is that really the case? There’s been no water in the Manambovo river for several months. Locals dig at the sandy riverbed in the hope they’ll find a few drops of water.

The government blames the long dry spell on climate change and the UN agrees that this is the main reason for the worsening crisis. But critical voices say the government shares some of the responsibility — despite years of western aid, southern Madagascar is stuck in a rut, with few tarmac roads, hardly any schools and an extremely high birth rate. DW journalist Adrian Kriesch reports on the measures needed right now, as well as the importance of the imminent rainy season.

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