The DIGAP project confronts a problem observed in the field not only by its project leader, but also by Malagasy partners and humanitarian actors: the difficulty of anticipating humanitarian crisis situations linked to droughts. DIGAP argues that a consideration of groundwater status is crucial to anticipating water scarcity-related humanitarian crises in semi-arid regions that are almost devoid of surface water. In fact for some years environmental markers have provided scientific evidence on the hydric situation (e.g. rainfall deficit, drop in piezometric levels). We seek to determine how we can better use water status and more specifically groundwater status, in anticipating humanitarian crises.

First (WP1), we will develop an innovative methodology based on remote sensing and modeling to characterize groundwater dynamics at the regional scale in an area that lacks basic documentation. Second (WP2), we will quantify the associations among various environmental factors and food security, in addition to human health indicators through the use of a multi-level epidemiological modeling approach.

We expect that our results will unravel the effects of environmental and anthropic factors in the development of drought-related humanitarian crises and thereby sustainably strengthen Madagascar’s early warning system.