11 September 2012

Misanga Sanga

Dear friends,
Both Avi and I have been experiencing different degrees of the flu / sore throat, I think I’m better already but Avi is still in deliberations.
Misanga Sanga, is Malagasy for going sightseeing and that is what we did on Saturday, we went to see some village projects, saw the village water system, talked to the people, and got an overall feeling of what we are up against, what exists and what needs to be done.
We travelled to Masimpierenana Ambony a small 30 people village part of the  Moraranu Functani (commune) and another commune, together 850 people, in the Antanifotsy region, which is 120 km away from Antananarivo. Their water situation is considered very good because about a year ago they were given the current water system. The water system was designed and implemented by CNGEAR a local NGO which deals with training and implementation of water projects, together with WaterAid, which is a serious player in the water space of Madagascar with many achievements. Their system is based on a mountainous spring, channeled into a reservoir and then channeled with underground piping to multifamily communal taps. The system works very well and supplies the water needs of the local population. The whole system is very simple, works on gravitation, sedimentation filtering, piping, cement tank and hand pumps. I asked the local water committee president how the system changed their life and his answer was that this system gave the village 3 main advantages: the first allowing everyone more time, in the past they spent hours retrieving water, now this time is spend it on working in the field, this immediately, in less than a year transferred into a higher income and people were happier, children were going to school on a regular basis, something they could not do prior to the system, but lastly he said, it really opened our eyes, to the possibilities of life with income and our next goals for the coming years are better access roads and a better schooling system. This is the impact that water has on people. The project that we intend to do is a bit more challenging because our area, about 1000 km south to this region, in Ambovome, is a dry coastal area with no springs but many other options for containing and treating water.  
The underground spring water collection point.

the tank reservoir channeled by piping and gravitation

the villagers near the tap

the tap that changed their lives

the water committee president that I talked to
Of all of the countries we have visited I have a soft spot for Madagascar, all in all there was a romantisization of the country and all my feelings came to be true. We have learnt that the Malagasy people are honest, hardworking, generous and trustworthy. We have been working on the Madagascar project for 2 whole years, getting the right partners, developing a good relationship of trust, understanding what needs to be done and with this visit all sides are ready to start working.
On Sunday we had quite an emotional goodbye from Naivo and Theodere, our partners for the project and travelling partners for the last 3 days, which were fantastic, generous hosts that care for their country and are looking to make a change. We look forward of being a part of this change.
the good produce

A strange site on our way back, A private school named shalom??? we coun't find out the orgin of this school, but it is something for me to find out next time we come here!

the rainbow at the end of the day

water distribution point in Antananarivo and the sewage next to it, Antananarivo has a methodological system of water distribution through out the city, it doesn’t look so good but for now it is doing the job.

we are now in tanzania, will update you soon!

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