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Children starve in parched southern Madagascar

Source:  Copyright 2009, LA Times
Date:  November 21, 2009
Byline:  Robyn Dixon
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Foreigners have come to Anjandobo village, a cluster of wooden huts on the desolate red dust of southern Madagascar. They're vaza -- outsiders.

The vaza are sweating. They wear hats and carry cameras and plastic bottles of water.

The sun exhausts the vaza: four journalists and a group of aid workers from UNICEF and the World Food Program. Scorpions bristle under rocks. There's little shade.

A small Anjandobo child watches the vaza with their water bottles.

"I'm thirsty."

"No water," replies the child's mother.

Her younger toddler chimes in. "I want to drink water."

"No water," the mother repeats, matter-of-fact.

Madagascar's rainfall has decreased 10% in the last 50 years, and its temperature has risen 10%.

-- The World Bank

The spiny forest that once grew everywhere is a memory not much mourned here. It was a tangle of spectacular triffid-like trees ...

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