Madagascar: Lack of Activity in Local Blogs in Times of Crisis Sparks Debate

Much has been written about the series of natural disasters that have hit Madagascar recently. Tomavana sheds some light on yet another crisis in the North-West region of Madagascar now plagued by famine.

Le Programme alimentaire mondial [PAM] a lancé un nouvel appel en faveur des 190′000 Malagasy victimes des récentes intempéries et cyclones qui ont frappé Madagascar. Le PAM a aussi communiqué l’envoi d’urgence de 100 tonnes de nourriture et de matériel de secours par hélicoptère au cours des quatre prochaines semaines depuis une base dans la ville d’Antsohihy.

The world food Program [WFP] launched a new call for the relief of the 190,000 Malagasy victims of the recent bad weather and cyclones that struck Madagascar. WFP also communicated the emergency send-off of 100 tons of food and rescue-materials by helicopter in the next four weeks from the central base located in the town of Antsohihy.

The post prompted this reaction from a reader of the blog, Lamako, who is disappointed that there are too few of such kind of
actions or posts

C’ était à prévoir même si les médias malgaches n’en parlent qu’avec parcimonie voire pas du tout.
Ce qui est triste, c’est le manque de solidarité des malgaches de la diaspora envers ces milliers de de sinistrés.
Les sites web malgaches parlent de tout sauf de ces risques de famine. Les reportages vidéos et photos se concentrent sur des sujets “people”. Il faut aller sur le site de l’UNICEF pour en voir. Pas d’appel à la solidarité non plus.
C’est comme si la réalité du cyclone est niée. Et c’est cette même diaspora malgache qui hurle au loup contre un reportage de FR3 un tant soit peu critique (?) envers le pays.
On croit rêver !!!

It was to be expected even though the Malagasy media speak little about it or even not at all. It is quite sad that there is a lack of solidarity of the Malagasy diaspora towards these thousands of victims of the disaster. The Malagasy websites speak about everything except these risks of famine. The video reports and photographs concentrate only on “people” issues. One has to go to to the site of the UNICEF to see some news. There is no call to solidarity either. It is as if the reality of the cyclone is denied. And this is the same Malagasy diaspora which cries foul when a FR3 (French tv ) report is a tiny bit critical (?) towards the country. Unbelievable !!!

Tomavana agrees that there could have been more calls for action but points out that more actions were undertaken by other organizations.
Tattum notes that the trust in charitable actions have decreased because so many times humanitarian projects were spoiled by corruption. She would rather act on her own to have more control over the projects.
Lamako responds that there still could have been more publicity in the Malagasy blogs to promote solidarity as it was seen during the Tsunami or Katrina.
Vola points out that the very idea behind a blog is that the subject and ideas posted on it are up to the blogger only. There is no moral or economic duty to fulfill nor should there be a moral judgment imposed upon bloggers’ choice of subjects. A blog does not have a mission to save the world unless it wants to. Is there really a need to justify what we are not writing about?

In related news, no Malagasy bloggers commented on the alleged attempted assassination of the Malagasy President last week.


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