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Madagascar News Forums The Transformation of Antananarivo Reply To: The Transformation of Antananarivo

#517
Madagascar
Keymaster

Since the twentieth century, the inhabitants of the town of Morondava have witnessed significant advances or setbacks in the beach, “without any immediate danger to the city” (see previous note). It was only during the winter of 1953 and 1954, during which a hundred meters of beaches were nibbled, that the sea penetrated several times, in the streets of the city close to the coast, during particularly violent tides. “The emotion was great in Morondava, and at certain moments, in disarray, there was talk of the abandonment of the city, whose facilities were to be transferred to the interior,” wrote at the time a manager.
The latter considers that it is well to enlighten public opinion on the situation of this period. “Considerably enlarged” on the one hand by the Representatives to the Representative Assembly in the legitimate hope of rapidly obtaining public funds for the protection of the coast; And on the other hand, by the public works department, which sees the possibility of creating “a new agglomeration from scratch, according to modern standards, by shaving the old city”. They consider that the cost of the transfer may be less onerous than the protection work.
“Utopian view, both technically and psychologically! There is no example of pure and simple abandonment of a city. Moreover, this intrusion of the sea coincided with cyclonic weather accompanied by heavy rains, and the waters which stagnated for some hours at certain low points were rainwater and not sea water; There was never to be deplored the slightest material damage nor, no more, no victim. “Today we are wondering who representatives of the population or the administration of the city were right to be concerned.
In any case, the consequences of erosion and public panic are heavy for Morondava. All work sites are practically stopped for two years (1953-1954). Many buildings under construction on the general budget appropriations are halted. The decision not to build in Morondava is even taken. In particular, the erection of the wharf is canceled. However, a contract financed by the Investment Fund for Economic and Social Development has been concluded with the National Public Works Corporation. It begins its work by the first installations, the settlement of a dune and the supply of stones. “The market was terminated and the wharf project abandoned. “
However, thanks to the tenacity of the municipality and the provincial authorities, the exclusive measure on Morondava can be lifted. The calm returns to the minds and
“A healthier assessment of the situation emerged”. Missions from France are studying this phenomenon of maritime erosion which is not special at Morondava and “which manifests itself in many other parts of the globe, without there being any question of abandoning anything”.
The construction of eleven cobs perpendicular to the coast is advocated and the work carried out during 1954 on the remainder of the credits of the wharf and the funds of the general budget. During the high tides of September 1954 and the winter of 1955, there were no longer any significant erosion phenomena and, more and more, the beach grew considerably. This suggests that the ears actually play a stabilizing role. “It is already possible to envisage, for the near future, the rehabilitation of the maritime boulevard, for the moment sanded.”
In parallel with this improvement, the General Directorate of Practical Works revisits its decision to stop all constructions in Morondava. The work resumes everywhere. “The town takes on a charming aspect which is not without surprise to visitors, in whose mind Morondava was to present itself as a lost place, with flooded or muddy streets. “
This event gives the elected representatives of the municipality the opportunity to demonstrate their cohesion spirit, shaped by twenty years of municipal life. The councilors offer, spontaneously and unanimously, their resignation as soon as it is a question of abandoning the city. Stakeholders at the Representative Assembly are multiplying and, finally, the municipal council is successful. Thus, Morondava is maintained, previous projects resumed except the wharf.
“It is moreover probable that the construction of the wharf would in any case have been abandoned; It had never been asked by the local representatives who considered this project too ambitious for the region. “