New hope for the village of Ankaranabo
The community of Ankaranabo, in the south of Madagascar, expressed their satisfaction at the announcement that the Ecovillage project will soon be implemented.
Esterline, a lovely 12-year-old teenage girl, lives in the village of Ankaranabo in southern Madagascar. The summer holidays have just begun for primary school pupils. That morning, she joins a few members of the community who have gathered under a tree to shelter from the sun. The village leaders announce that the village will undergo several transformations thanks to the implementation of the ecovillage concept by UNICEF and its partners.
Esterline is one of the first people to express her hope that this project will come to fruition. “I am happy that the village will have solar electrification because it is difficult to study in the dark with small flashlights. I hope I can focus a little more when I learn my lessons at home,” she says.
According to the village chief, "security will be reinforced with the electrification of the village because the dark during the night is linked to more insecurity in the region". Indeed, some zebus belonging to a villager were stolen by bandits the day before this meeting.
Water points were also installed a few years ago in the village. “Before, life was tough for us, especially for the girls, because we were the ones who fetched the water from the river, which is thirty minutes away from the village. The water bucket was heavy and carrying it for a long while was taxing on our small bodies. Sometimes we were even late for school. Now we feel better because we save time and energy: water is available right next door”, says Esterline.
As part of this transformation, the community will also benefit from full sanitation coverage with ecological latrines, training on honey production for income generation, new insect breeding techniques for the feeding of farm animals, and a drip irrigation system allowing the efficient use of water for agriculture.
“We have started planting vegetable gardens since water came to the village and we will definitely be able to improve the yield with the drip irrigation system,” explains Francine, one of the village elders.
Schools will also be equipped with an internet connection to help children learn through digital technology. "Since I am passionate about technological innovation, I will be happy to use this internet connection because for the moment I have to go to the town of Bekily, which is one hour away from our village", explains 18-year-old Rosela, Esterline's neighbor.
As part of its 2021-2023 cooperation programme, UNICEF is targeting approximately 1.5 million people in southern Madagascar, who will receive a full package of measures in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) through the establishment of ecovillages.