This is part of the series about the background to the regions in Anosy you can also visit: Ilafitsignana; St Luce or Ambinanibe
Petriky is an area of littoral forest situated 32 kilometres south of Fort Dauphin, home to approximately 900 people. It includes a fragile water system of three lagoons.
The testimonies were collected in Loharano, a hamlet to the north-west side of Petriky. Here the villagers live mostly from fishing, small agricultural produce and forest products.
The forest is somewhat degraded, especially around Loharano where villagers are growing manioc and tomatoes on its western edge. A large swathe of forest has been cut from east to west to provide road access for QMM vehicles.
The forest is due to be mined for ilmenite and QMM has appropriated 1,320 hectares of land, 120 of which have been designated a conservation zone by QMM and the local forest service since 2008. A management transfer to local communities is proposed through FIMPIAMP (Fikambanana Mpiara-mitantana ny Alan’ny Petriky) for managing the forest conservation zone, and COBA (Comité de Base) for managing the forest user zone. In the past local people applied their own traditional forest management system.
Approximately 324 people were employed by QMM to build a road (each paid 2,000 MGA per day) but the work only lasted a few days because so many people participated.
Some vegetable cultivation, honey cultivation, tree seedlings and other income-generating projects with local associations have been set up by QMM’s social programme.
There is only one well to source drinking water. The nearest health centre is in Sarisambo, one day’s walk away, where international agencies have set up reproductive health education projects and intensive food distribution to treat malnourished children. A programme to promote vegetable cultivation has run into difficulty as it involved micro-finance in order to purchase equipment, and people were afraid of getting into debt. A major concern for villagers is the difficulty of getting produce to market due to their remote location and poor access to roads.
A primary school was built by QMM in 1998 in wood, and rebuilt in brick in 2008. It has three government-paid teachers and one supply teacher. However, older children must travel to the secondary school in Manambaro for their schooling and stay with relatives. The villagers requested a secondary school for their community but are still awaiting a response.