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Ambahy. It is the old name borne by Farafangana, a coastal town in the south-east, and the local people continue to give it the name “the place where lianas are found”. Ambahibe, one of the first districts of the city, is also called Ambahisosotra, “with intertwined lianas”. As for the present name, Farafangana, it would have been given by the Betsileo- some say the Baravens sell goods in Ambahy, a place where they think they are reaching the end of the world, at the end of their Trip “Fara-fiengana”.
By the middle of the twentieth century, it is not yet possible to know the approximate date of the settlement of the first inhabitants of the city. The legend does not mention it and according to some authors, “the writings kept by some indigenous people are declared misplaced or destroyed during a fire”.
However, they assume that this installation dates back a number of years before 1865. Information gathered on the spot in 1931 indicates: “Around 1865, the Hova officers of the Mahamanina and Ankarana posts received from the Royal Government, To appoint a few soldiers to be placed at Ambahy, on the ground that Vazaha had to settle there to trade, and that customs duties should be levied on the imported goods. “
One of the first known settlers, Paul Desjardins, who came from Mauritius, settled in Farafangana around 1860. His daughter Armel, born in the city around 1870, died in 1944. It is also assumed that the population of the town is This time, very reduced. In fact, inhabitants of the countryside were appointed by order of the Hova officers to live in the locality as soon as the garrison was installed on the plateau west of the village of Amboanio, Residence of the district chief.
Other “errant elements” come to swell the first nucleus, attracted by the wage work offered by the first traders vazaha. The Protestant Mission of London moved to Farafangana in 1865, at the time of the transfer of the merina garrison of Amboanio to the district of Ambahy.
Farafangana is located by the sea, at the mouth of the Manambato and Manampatrana rivers. The municipality was created in 1951 and its first activity is to complete the electrification of the city, the construction of a Tranompokonolona and a swimming pool. At the same time, the construction of an elementary primary school, of the housing of the head of the European school, continues, while the construction of a slaughterhouse and the tarring of the streets. And although obstructed by the progressive obstruction of its pass, Farafangana develops constantly thanks to the exports of the coffee produced by the surrounding regions.
Much more to the north-east of Farafangana, is Sainte-Marie or the island of Abraham. Its well-known history can be summarized by a few dates.
In 1642, taking possession of the island by Pronis in the name of the King of France. Abandoned at the same time as Fort Dauphin in 1674, the island of Sainte-Marie became the den of the pirates (1680-1730 approximately). The neighboring island of the Forbans perpetuates their memory. Then it was the act of cession of July 30, 1750, granted by Queen Bety, presumably under the influence of Corporal La Bigorne. On October 15, 1818, Sylvain Roux took possession of the island.
It is also asserted that the memories of history are inscribed in the San Martian soil. Thus, in 1753, the Fort of the Company of the Indies was created; 1823, erection of the tomb of Sylvain Roux; 1826, epitaph of François Albrand; 1845, monument Hic Capita Jacent; 1867, tomb of the old church of Jean-Pierre Dalmond, first apostolic prefect of Madagascar. In 1893, erection of the monument in memory of the castaways of the cruiser La Bourdonnais and construction of the tombs of the very old Saint-Pierre cemetery. And the stele of the Bicentennial is high in 1950.
But “Sainte-Marie does not want to be only a land of memories and accept the condemnation that some want to overwhelm. On the contrary, it prepares its modernization and affirms its will to live “. The political importance of the island must not make us forget its economic and tourist interest, its strategic and historical interest “because of its past and no doubt for the future”.