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2008.01.01

An appeal for aid as Madagascar struggles to rebuild after cyclones
* 02분 48초
* 29-FEB-2008 

It's been almost 4 weeks since cyclone Ivan hit Madagascar, killing 93 people and leaving 350,000 without a home. 

Ivan was the country’s most devastating cyclone since 1980. Raging flood waters have deprived farmers of their fields, turned schools into temporary shelters and made roads disappear. 

SOUNDBITE (Malagasy) Ralison Fleur, President of the Tanambe Parents Association: 
"The cyclone has destroyed everything, the heavy rain caused damaged to the dam. So many permanent buildings have been destroyed, including the only school in the village. The same for the main road. Even for me, I was not able to save anything! Fortunately the water stopped during the day, if this would have happened during the night even more people would have been dead by now."

UNICEF's multiple ground teams have been working with partners, providing essential water sanitation and hygiene kits, basic supplies like blankets and bed-nets to combat the spread of infectious diseases and moral support to affected families. 

Another primary concern here is to ensure the safety of Ivan’s most defenceless victims, children. Health kits and bed nets are going a long way, but UNICEF is also focused on ensuring education for the displaced and homeless. 

SOUNDBITE (Malagasy) Lalao Ravaoarimanana Noéline, Director of Public Primary School First: 
"We have to wait for the water to disappear. After that we will ask the responsible for the health service to come and disinfect the buildings. Once all the classrooms have been disinfected we can ask children to come back to school." 

In the meantime, UNICEF is providing tents to be used as makeshift classrooms in addition to school-in-a-box and recreations kits in an attempt to give children a sense of normalcy.

Cyclones are common in Madagascar, but their intensity and frequency have increased in the past years – highlighting the possible impact of climate change in countries where children are increasingly vulnerable

This is Natacha Ikoli reporting for UNICEF Television, Unite for Children