Sunday, June 3, 2012

About the Project....

            25km from a paved road and electricity are 6 small subsistence farming villages in the district of Morarano.  Simply living is work in this area of the world, and that work is made harder by the lack of a structurally sound bridge across the Sahanambo River in this area.  A bridge will directly benefit the 1,100 inhabitants of this valley as well as the 800+ transients from the neighboring Namoly Valley.  Right now the hazardous river crossing must be made daily by students going to school, farmers going to their ricefields, villagers going to the market to buy and sell crops, anyone trying to access public transportation, and anyone seeking medical care.
The Sahanambo River in April 2012 (at the end of the rainy season ).

The Sahanambo River during cyclone season (photo taken in January 2012).

          From an economic point of view, this bridge could be a boon to the local economy because this is also a local crossing point for all tourists entering Andringitra National Park through the west entrance.  Right now, it is seldom used by tourists because it is difficult to access.
Map of Andringitra National Park (Morarano and the Sahanambo River are on the bottom right.)

However, 50% of all park entrance fees go toward projects that benefit the local community; a boost in tourism could improve the lives and the economy of the region.
     The situation is worse during the rainy season because the river's current grows in strength and the water level rises rapidly and significantly.   Children often stay home from school rather than risk injury when crossing the river.  The lack of bridge poses a safety, health, education, and economic threat to the community. My community is committed to this project; and will contribute 25% of the overall cost of the project through labor, local materials, and transport of materials.
Project donations will go toward materials, skilled laborers, and transportation of materials from the nearest city (which are unavailable at site).  Not only will this benefit the community in terms of safety, health, education, and the economy; but it will provide the local participants with  newly acquired skills in managing and implementing a large scale construction project.

 After meeting with a local contractor from the nearest city, the plan for a structurally sound bridge has been drawn up, and the cost determined.  The total amount needed to construct the bridge is $8,161.  This is a large chunk of change, but remember, every little bit helps. If you are interested in donating to this project, please visit  Stay posted for updates on the project, as well as more pictures to come of the village, people affected, and  work progress once the project is funded.  If you have questions about this specific project, feel free to contact me directly at

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