Madagascar: despite series of unfortunate events, bloggers are still upbeat….

Greetings all,

This is my first post on Global Voices. I am fortunate and quite thrilled to have the opportunity to share with you the perspective of the Malagasy blogosphere. Unfortunately, the current news from Madagascar are quite sad. The main topic of discussion on the Malagasy web is the disastrous impact of the latest series of cyclones in Madagascar:
cyclones hjk (Courtesy Harinjaka)
Series of unfortunate events”

Harinjaka wrote:

“Deux cent quarante deux millions huit cent soixante deux milles et trois cent cinquante trois Dollars US (242.862.353 USD) c’est l’argent qu’il faut à l’état malgache pour réparer les dégâts du Cyclone pour cette saison 2006-2007 selon ce communique officiel que j’ai lu aujourd’hui sur le site du ministère des Affaires Etrangère Malgache.
En effet, suite au passage de cyclones successifs depuis le mois de décembre 2006 au mois de janvier 2007, plusieurs régions de Madagascar se trouvent dans un état dramatique…”

two hundred forty two millions eight hundred sixty two thousand and three hundred fifty three US dollars ($242.862.353). This is what the Malagasy government needs to repair all the damages from the cyclone for the 2006-07 season according to today's official report from the Malagasy ministry of foreign affairs. In fact, after successive cyclones have passed through from Dec 06 to Jan 07, many regions of Madagascar are in shambles…

Furthermore, Harinjaka asks whether there are any more doubts that this sudden onslaught of Mother Nature on the “Red island” is not related to Global Warming (Fr). Aiky also weighs in on the effect of the cyclones and wonders if the worst is still not to come. If another cyclone were to arrive, he predicts:

“les écoles fermeront comme d'habitude, le cours du riz flambera, le prix des ppn augmentera temporairement, les produits risqueront de disparaître du marché, les spéculateurs gagneront du terrain.”

Schools will close, the cost if rice will rise as the cost of other vital products, others products might not be available anymore and the speculators will gain ground.

Unfortunately, these are not the only sad news from Madagascar in the past few months: a drought in the Southern region (the irony here is a bit too cruel considering the flooding in the eastern and central regions of the country) (Fr), the continuing deforestation/desertification as illustrated by Tattum (Fr) and entire villages going up in smoke as narrated by Tomavana (Mg).

“Still here, still blogging”

However, Malagasy bloggers do not want any part of a pity party. Perseverance is the word. So they reassert themselves by celebrating their history (Fr), rediscovering the defining characteristics of their identities (Fr)(on Malagasy Miray) and submitting a few ideas (Fr) that could help Madagascar pull out of the current economic stagnation (read at “shadow gasy”).
They even get to enjoy the little perks of blogging when a celebrity comes by to drop a word….

So,”Veloma” ( goodbye in Malagasy ) for now and hope to see you very soon,



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