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Survival strategies

A still from the community's video, 'Our fight against the dunes'

In southern Madagascar environmental change is pushing poor people even closer to the margins of survival. Two indigenous communities, the Antandroy and Antanosy share the experience of this environment through their own films and life stories, providing an insight into the realities of rural poverty and the coping strategies they have developed.

Survival strategies testimonies

Video voice: Fishing for our survival

Traditionally farmers, the people of Androy have relatively few fishermen compared to other communities along the coast. Yet with the recurrent drought, the ocean is becoming an increasingly important resource for many people’s livelihoods. Sylvain, a fisherman, explains the importance of his tools and the challenges he faces: a lack of sufficient canoes and the…

Video voice: Soghum, a crop of our ancestors

Sorghum is a crop of the Antandroy and is part of its people’s heritage. It had all but disappeared until recently – replaced by donations of corn during the drought. Lost to most, but never forgotten, sorghum is making a comeback in Androy. Many farmers are eager to rediscover the crop which proves to be…

Video voices: Our fight against the dunes

The struggle against the invading sand dunes is at the heart of the Faux Cap community. Since the 1950s, dunes have been burying their houses, schools and the local police station. When a well was introduced to provide water for livestock, the dune expanded, as animals grazed on the remaining vegetation. Watch the community members…

Video voices: chickens are my security

Traditionally, the Antandroy are engaged in cattle-herding. Livestock have always been at the heart of their life, culture and customs. Cattle are prized but are now well beyond the means of poorer households, who make do with raising smaller animals such as sheep, goats and chickens. Suzanne describes how raising a few chickens serves as…

Randriamahefa: we depend on the sea

Randriamahefa is at home in Faux Cap, making a living from fishing, farming and raising chickens  – all things he has done since he was a child.  He explains that “if the year is good, I plant in the fields…[but] in bad years I go to sea…[and] we depend on the sea for our income…

Vola: farming difficulties

Vola moved to Faux Cap as a young woman. She is a widow with nine children. She despairs at the difficulties of farming alone. “Men with cattle, and ploughs and a large field, we don’t have. We are left to suffer and wander.” She sees the strong winds as farming’s biggest enemy, blaming them on…

Robin: peanuts and sorghum

Robin is 53 and has a wife and four children. He has always lived in Antanimora. An agricultural farmer who also raises livestock, he describes the impact of a changing climate on his livelihood. He explains that “the big thing…which I prize above all in my life, is to have cattle. It has its place…

Marivelo: survival is a balancing act

Marivelo grew up Antanimora and is the sole provider for her family, which includes her children, grandchildren, and parents. Alongside her caring responsibilities she employs multiple strategies for survival, explaining “at one time we had sufficient rainfall for a harvest, making agriculture sufficient to depend on for our livelihood, while now the climate has changed…

Testimonies

Video voice: Fishing for our survival

Video voice: Soghum, a crop of our ancestors

Video voices: Our fight against the dunes

Video voices: chickens are my security

Randriamahefa: we depend on the sea

Vola: farming difficulties

Robin: peanuts and sorghum

Marivelo: survival is a balancing act

Key themes

Key themes

Overview

The project

The partners