Disaster Preparedness and Response

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Education in emergencies

© UNICEF Madagascar/2010
In the town of Vohipeno, eastern Madagascar, a student helps dry school materials damaged in flooding and heavy rains caused by tropical storm Hubert in March 2010.

With cyclones and tropical storms a recurring feature of Madagascar's weather systems, work to rehabilitate educational infrastructure in emergencies forms a major part of UNICEF's activities. Support for schools and local education authorities in areas prone to natural disasters is critical. This enables them to prepare adequately and respond to emergency situations, helping to ensure that children are safe and that interruption to their education is minimised.

One initiative that has proved to be a big success is the Tarpa Tent. This temporary shelter, used to enable schooling to continue where classrooms are destroyed, has been used in the most inaccessible regions, where it is not possible to deliver conventional, heavier tents. Tarpa Tents are quick and easy to construct and maintain; they maximise the use of local materials; and have a wooden frame strong enough to withstand a second cyclone. 'School-in-a-box' kits also help children to continue to learn during times of severe disruption to their education.

UNICEF support also includes strengthening monitoring systems to enable schools to be better prepared.





Meet Angita


On 18 February 2008, cyclone Ivan left nine-year-old Angita without a classroom to study in. But months spent studying in an tent have not dented her ambition to become a teacher one day. Read her story here.


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