While many may not view Madagascar as more than an island destination for romantic and adventure getaways, it’s proven itself as quite the trend setter when it comes to promoting sustainability. A new eco-village has been built on the island, using only sustainable and locally sourced material, in an effort to inspire other local initiatives that will preserve and protect the incredible biodiversity of the island for future generations.
Located just 26km from the Capital, the eco-village has been designed as a model for the rest of the island in an effort to move towards more environmentally-friendly and considered living. Named Talata Volonondry, the dwellings in the village are built using natural resources and aim to help energy and farming initiatives simultaneously.
Malagasy entrepreneur, Andry Andrianjafy, is fully behind the eco-village initiative. He states of the village that, “we have some families that we have here, we train and we try to improve their livelihood, their future, by helping them to envision something different from what they usually do.”
The new initiative recognises that the majority of the villagers are farmers, which is why an important aspect of it has been to train them in new methods that will not only help to increase their agriculture and livestock output, but also ensure that it’s done in a sustainable way that ensures the natural resources are able to out-last immediate need and contribute to a successful future.
A new irrigation system that has been implemented in the eco-village now allows the farmers to harvest food all year around. The new system pulls water from its source and delivers it directly into the village. One farmer named Racelestin, who lives in the village, said of the irrigation system: “I farm prawns because it’s less demanding now, I have water here and do not need to put too much work in it. We get water from the source through the pipe, which is shared by the community.”
Another novel implementation in the eco-village is dry toilets. Not only do the dry toilets work to help preserve water, but they also provide organic fertilizer for land where livestock feed. The dry toilets are built from local materials, meaning they’re easy for the villagers to construct, and they also help to improve sanitation.
With a solid platform to launch from, both Andrianjafy and the community living in the eco-village, hope that eco-tourism will become a means to helping the community fund schools and medical clinics, while helping the whole island of Madagascar to achieve it Sustainable Development Goals.
Talata Volonondry is a little Madagascan eco-village that is set to make a world of a difference.
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Image Credit: Ecovillage Madagascar, Daily Globe