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Madagascar
Keymaster

For the development of the vast plains of Imerina, successive kings encourage their subjects to erect dikes, bunds and dams to obtain irrigation water. This, from the rivers that cross the territory, namely Varahina which is transformed into Ikopa, Sisaony, Mamba …
Andrianampoinimerina, in particular, never ceases to repeat to his subjects: “Now that peace is established in Imerina, I have only one enemy, the famine. “
These constructions serve also to delimit the six great territories and the lands of the different clans that populate them. “If I install a kiosk, some of them risk moving it to the detriment of others,” he said, before continuing: “What can only cause land conflicts and I do not want you to fight. “
Moreover, in Imerina, the plains are not at the same altitude. Thus all the infrastructures make it possible to regulate the flow of water to avoid on one side the drought, on the other the flood.
Moreover, the irrigation of the rice fields provokes numerous disputes and the sovereign does not fail to impose severe penalties against anyone who blocks or diverts the water. In fact, it is addressed especially to those who are likely to abuse their authority or power, that is to say the Great of the kingdom and the rich.
In his instructions, Andrianampoinimerina strongly urges the Tsimahafotsy, the Tsimiamboholahy and the Antehiroka to preserve these infrastructures, to repair them as soon as there is a small fault … He also suggests to them to liberate the waters of the weirs during the rainy season for Prevent the rice fields from being submerged.
At the time, if one could have an aerial view of the Imerina, “one would have seen broad lines more or less straight, furrowing the vast plains from south to north and from east to west, as well as Smaller traits drawing geometric figures and surrounding the green of the rice fields in full cultivation “.
Andrianampoinimerina does not merely repair the existing dikes such as the Vahilava of Andriamasinavalona, ​​leaving from Alasora to the west and watering part of the plain of Betsimitatatra. He builds new ones. He may also destroy them and re-assemble them in other places for the purpose of gaining land.
Besides the Vahilava, one of the ancient dikes known is the one that bears the name of an ancient lord of Namehana, Andriambolanambo. It begins south of Antananarivo, more precisely south of Soanierana, at Ankazomasina, ends at Ambodifasana via West-Ambohijanahary, Isotry, west of Antanimena, Ivandry, Alarobia, Soavimasoandro and Of Belanitra.
From this long dyke, the sovereign has others constructed which are perpendicular or parallel to him. The first, Dinta, leaves from the north of the Mamba River to Ambatolampy-Antehiroka in the east, with a spillway at Manampisoa.
As to the south of Dinta there are rice paddies, Andrianampoinimerina creates another dike, more or less parallel to the Fefilohanandriambolanambo which also allows it to separate the lands of the Tsimiamboholahy from that of the Antehiroka.
Second dam of the Avaradrano, Ampefilohanamehana is also built from that of Andriambolanambo. Its name is explained by the fact that it connects Namehana to Analatsilefika and divides the Tsimahafotsy and the Tsimiamboholahy. This construction is doubled by two reservoirs dug at Ampisaka and Anketsa to receive the waters of the Toalaza River.
A dike of the same name was at that time between Merimandroso and Mananina. From this latter locality, Andrianampoinimerina has built two dikes from west to east, passing in particular by Belanitra, Antsarasaotra, Ambatolampy. He then destroyed the dike Toalaza, which allows him to extend the rice fields.