Ndono stood naked on his roof. He needed to make a decision.
Cyclone Enawo was passing overhead. The warnings had been clear and he had shuttered their windows and prepared for a sleepless night.
Situated on one of Madagascar’s principal roads, in the crook of a bend in the river, Brickaville and its residents are used to cyclones. But not this big.
When the elements took hold of Ndono’s single roomed wooden house it was so loud that it became impossible for the family to talk. Through the noise, a strange sound drew Ndono outside, but instead of his back yard, his foot hit water – cold water. The river had burst.
Ushering the family to the nearest hill, Ndono lashed the house shut with ropes and then climbed, “ninja style” to his roof, to guard against looters.
Hours passed. The water rose, literally tearing the clothes from his body. Concerned about his family, he swam down the main street.
Eventually finding them safe, he returned to his lookout post until the cyclone passed.
At its peak during Cyclone Enawo, the river stood 6 METRES above its normal level.
Ndono’s response saved both his family and their possessions from the water, but his pressing need now is for other water. Drinking water.