Rochester man working to bring water to Madagascar amid severe drought

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 6:15 AM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – After years of low rainfall, Madagascar is experiencing its worst drought in more than 40 years.

The drought has led to low harvests and widespread famine. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things worse.

More than one million people in the country are in urgent need of food.

Andry Ranaivoson is a native of Madagascar and lives in Rochester now, but, a lot of his family still lives in Madagascar.

He’s a hydrologist with Global Health Ministries out of Minneapolis. A hydrologist studies how rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation impact river flows or groundwater levels.

Ranaivoson has been working for the last few years with engineers, trying to find viable water in order to drill wells. He said they discovered a water source underground in 2018, and have since drilled one well. They have recently found six more viable sites. They are using new GPS technology to help them do this. More wells could come as early at the end of this month.

More water means that people can grow their own food. Different charities throughout the years have brought food to the region, but Ranaivoson that is not a sustainable long term solution.

“It’s possible to turn around the situation,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world. “With the right approach, the right technology, with the right community involvement, things can be turned around. and this senseless hunger and suffering and killing of the children, it’s doable, it’s doable.”

Madagascar was hit by a tropical cyclone over the weekend, which is only making the situation worse. Approximately 150,000 people have been displaced, and others killed.

Representatives from Global Health Ministries will be visiting the region at the end of the month to survey the situation. If interested in helping, visit its website.

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