Back on the summer eco-volunteer missions in Makay

Madagascar – In July and August 2018, two of Naturevolution’s field missions to protect the Makay massif in Madagascar were accompanied by eco-volunteers. Back on these missions and the actions carried out thanks to the presence of 15 people.

Medical Support Mission with Medicaero in the Makay Massif
Medical support mission with Medicaero in the Makay massif. Photo Arnaud Callec

Medical Support Mission with Medicaero

The French association Médicaero carries out health surveillance and medical assistance missions in the landlocked localities of Madagascar. Travel time and the condition of the runways is one of the main reasons for the landlockedness of these areas, and hence the lack of medical and educational coverage. Médicaero works in partnership with the Malagasy Ministry of Health, and allows access to remote areas of the country thanks to their bush plane.

We had been talking with Medicaero for some time to make it easier for them to access the villages of Makay, but what was blocking until this year was the impractical condition of the airstrips located near some villages. During this mission, the Naturevolution team and the eco-volunteers were able to mow, clean and make passable the runway at Bemano (South Beroroha) so that the Medicaero plane could land safely.

The eco-volunteers also prepared the Tsivoko clinic to allow the Medicaero medical team (5 doctors, nurses and midwives) to carry out 150 consultations and repeat the same procedure at the Beroroha Basic Health Centre for as many consultations.

Visit of Makay by a handicapped person in a joelette.
Solène and the joelette built for the occasion in Makay. Photo Arnaud Callec

Visit of Solène, person with reduced mobility

This mission was also marked by the participation of Solène, whom we had the joy of welcoming in the heart of the New Protected Area of Makay.

“Making the New Makay Protected Area accessible to people with reduced mobility was one of the great challenges of this mission. » Bernard Forgeau – President of Naturevolution Madagascar

From the manufacture of a joelette adapted to the Makay to its use in the canyons, the challenge was motivating and exciting. Beyond the joy brought by Solene’s presence on the mission and the dynamism created with the local people, this challenge was an opportunity to prove that even some of the most isolated environments on the planet can be made accessible – it’s ‘just’ a matter of mutual help and will.

Playful and educational activities with the children of Makay
Playful and educational activities with the children of Makay

Other miscellaneous accomplishments

The second mission was multi-purpose. Its main objective was to complete various tasks on the construction sites in progress.

  • In the village of Tsivoko, the team was able to finalize the construction of 7 Dadant hives for the pilot project of bee development, while others led educational games with children (unfortunately, the educational trunk developed at the beginning of the year was not available for these missions).
Construction of apiaries in the village of Tsikovo
  • Together with 40 villagers, we have also cleared a perimeter of 850 x 40 meters that will allow the opening and application of a landing strip near the village of Tsivoko. The aim is to make the area a little less landlocked, in particular to open it more easily to Medicaero missions.
  • In Beronono, the eco-volunteers were able to attend the field restitution of the work of the scientists of the IRD/CNRS/MNHN team in charge of a long-term mission to evaluate conservation and development projects in the New Makay Protected Area. They were able to understand the objectives and challenges faced by an institutional team setting up such a system in such a remote area as the villages of Makay.
  • In the Menapanda forest, the largest in Makay, we rebuilt a second dry toilet, changed the protective bamboo of Naturevolution’s hut, and improved its kitchen area.
    Flashback: Relive the construction of Menapanda’s hut and the landscaping of the land around the hut more than 6 years ago (time is ticking!).

To join one of our field missions, find out more about: Eco-volunteering in Madagascar.

To support our efforts to preserve nature and help local communities in Madagascar, make a donation to Naturevolution. Thank you !

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