Madagascar: an exhibition to raise awareness of the problem of poor housing

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The Madagascan NGO Enda is trying to help the poorly housed through its “Housing worthy for all” project. To raise awareness among non-affected populations, a traveling photographic exhibition of some forty photos was created in early December to show the everyday reality of the beneficiaries of the project. For her fourth stage, she settled in the heart of the French lycée in the capital.

Eyes plunged into the lens or the ostensibly diverted look of the camera, the beneficiaries of the project “A decent home for all” let themselves be tamed by the photographer. Without pathos or glitter, but with infinite modesty, the artist Rijasolo draws the visitor into the privacy of disadvantaged Tananarivians, in the heart of their renovated habitat.

A discovery for Aymane and Jade, two high school students, who have never entered the lower districts of their capital. ” These photos are downright touching, because I’m from a rather affluent family, so when I see these people, it allows me to become aware of the outside world, within my own country. I feel a need to help them said one of them.

We never went into these people and told them : “Hello, can we visit?” So, we have these photos that show us how and what they live in, explains the other. It’s shocking to see their conditions “.

The objective of the exhibition is therefore successful. The life stories of Germain the sculptor, Fatima the itinerant saleswoman or Toutou Lina, the water carrier in her seventies, challenge us. So much the better, explains Haingo Maharoniaina, the project coordinator. According to her, ” all the small jobs that make the city go round, these are the people who ensure them, that’s why we are here, that our project exists : to help them improve their housing and allow them to live where they feel at home “.

Securing land

Rebuild the city on the city with and by the inhabitants of these precarious districts and make them participate financially, even symbolically: 40% of the cost of the works was borne by the families, the rest was financed by the Abbé Pierre Foundation and the French Development Agency (AFD). These are some of the reasons for the success of the first stage of this project to combat poor housing.

The other crucial issue in this fight, explains Haingo Maharoniaina, remains land tenure security. ” In these disadvantaged neighborhoods, these people are owners only thanks to the recognition of the entourage but do not have enough papers to prove that the land belongs to them, she recalls. This means that at any time, they can be asked to leave, to vacate the land they occupy “.

In Antananarivo, the Madagascan capital, 60% of its population suffers from poor housing, according to 2017 figures. The most disadvantaged Tananarivians are the most affected by this massive social phenomenon: unsanitary housing, lack of running water and sanitation , low light or poor ventilation, overcrowding and precarious housing.

Facilitating access to land and ensuring access to decent housing for each household were two of the President’s campaign promises. The room for improvement on these two objectives remains wide.

(Re) listen: African tenants series (1/5): living in a single room in Madagascar

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