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SEED Madagascar

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Project Mitsinjo

A series of complementary activities to improve nutrition and health while also increase earning opportunities for rural communities in the Anosy region, southeast Madagascar.

Summary

  • Status: Completed
  • Date: June 2014 - June 2016
  • Target population: The entire population of five rural communities (Beandry, Farafara Vatambe, Mananara II, Sainte Luce and Tsagnoriha)
  • Location: Anosy Region, southeast Madagascar
  • Project Partners: Basic Healthcare Centre; Regional Office for Nutrition; Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Environment

Why is it important?

Have you washed your hands today? You probably know how important this simple action is for preventing the spread of germs, but many people don’t. In rural Madagascar, diarrhoea is a daily occurrence for many people, caused by a lack of knowledge about basic hygiene practices. Diarrhoea on a daily basis quickly leads to malnutrition and can stop people from going out to work.

More than half the people in Madagascar suffer from chronic malnutrition

Office National de Nutrition, 2013

Sick days don’t exist in rural farming communities – if you can’t work, you don’t get paid. Then you can’t afford to feed your family and they get sick too. In the Western world, illnesses like diarrhoea are easily treatable, but most people in rural Madagascar can’t afford even basic medicines. For people living and earning day-to-day, a lack of employment and poor health are highly interlinked, resulting in a cycle that keeps these people in poverty. It’s not enough just to look at one aspect of the problem – we need to address multiple issues if we are to break the cycle.

What we've done

SEED Madagascar has implemented several complementary activities covering hygiene, nutrition and earning opportunities to provide communities with a healthier, more secure and sustainable future. We worked hand in hand with communities to:

  • Distributed seedlings of the ‘wonder tree’ Moringa oleifera to 500 households and 7 schools. Not only are the leaves of this tree delicious, they also contain – gram for gram – seven times more vitamin C than oranges, four times more vitamin A than carrots, and double the protein of yoghurt!
  • Taught people about the importance of hygiene in preventing diarrhoea and other illnesses, using internationally-endorsed teaching methods;
  • Distributed more than 6000 fruit trees and train 40 people in bee-keeping, so that they have other ways of making money in the future;
  • Built 400 fuel-efficient stoves to reduce the amount of wood taken from the forest and prevent eye infections and lung problems caused by traditional cookstoves;
  • Introduced composting to improve soil quality, making it easier to grow fruits and vegetables for people to sell or include in their own meals;
  • Conducted research into medicinal plants and their uses.

Through these activities, Project Mitsinjo has directly impact 3000 people in the target communities, with the indirect benefits spreading across the regional population of 200,000 people.

Donors

Addax and Oryx Foundation.