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St Luce

This is part of the series about the background to the regions in Anosy you can also visit: Ilafitsignana; Petriky or Ambinanibe

Situated 46 kilometres to the north-east of Fort Dauphin, St Luce is home to approximately 1,400 people living in three hamlets: Ambandriky, Ampanasatomboky and Manafiafy. It is primarily a lobster fishing village, which sells produce seasonally – at prices set by middlemen – to two locally based French operators, Madapeche and Martin Pecheur.

The forest cover here is part littoral forest and part humid forest, which is owned by the de Heaulme family and used for tourism (private access). The forest area will be mined for ilmenite and 1,900 hectares are in project custody; 274 hectares are protected (‘Ala tahiry’) and completely off limits. There is a further area run by COBA (Comité de Base) for use by villagers under ‘dina’ arrangements, for example, gathering firewood, cutting certain trees and collecting mahampy reeds, but the size of this area is unclear.

Clean drinking water is more widely available in St Luce, with three wells built by FID (Fonds Internationale pour le Developpement – a World Bank project) in 2000 (two of which are still working). QMM built one well in 1999 and two hand pumps, one for the primary school in Ambandriky, and one for the health centre in Manafiafy.

The health centre was built by QMM in 2003 with a midwife paid for by the government, but there are problems with the supply and cost of medicines. And in the primary school that QMM built for Ambandriky in 2004, there is just one teacher to 185 pupils. A second teacher has been requested at government level but villagers await a response. Older children have to travel to Mahatalaky, 15 kilometres away, to take their secondary level entrance exams. There is also a primary school in Manafiafy built by FID in 1986.

Some market gardening projects have been set up by local and international agencies, as well as by QMM, but there are difficulties transporting goods to market in Fort Dauphin as road conditions are very poor, especially in the rainy season.

Getting hold of up to date reports and statistics is difficult in Madagascar. The information presented here is up to date as of 15th September 2009 and was the most accurate and current information available at that time.


St Luce is a key theme of the Pushed to the edge oral testimony project.


Constand: middlemen control everything

Olina: money talks

Fanja: forest is forbidden

Sorahy: education is crucial

Kazy: rains aren’t coming

Zanaboatsy: needing the forest

Sambo: life goes on

Jean-Claude: we are not livestock

Rosette: story of change

Bruno: hotter and hotter

Say Louise: when hardships started

Sirily: working for foreigners

Key themes

Background to the region

The project and partners

Rivers and the sea


Land and compensation

Farming and food security

Environmental change


Economic conditions


Cultural and social change

Communications and power relations

Local development

The future