Friday, 27 October 2017

Stories from Madagascar: Betampona

In our latest ‘Story from Madagascar,’ to mark World Lemur Day, we look at the work carried out by MfM and our partners’ in communities around the Betampona reserve, a vital rainforest habitat home to Lemurs and other species of Flora and Fauna.  

Chronic malnutrition is a major problem in Madagascar. Like any father, Solo wanted to ensure that his family had enough food to keep them healthy and strong. With few sources of protein available he would go hunting for bushmeat such as Lemur to supplement their limited diet. In the past this was not such a cause for concern as it only occurred on a modest scale. However, deepening poverty has led to an increase in the hunting of wildlife both for food and to sell and this is threatening endangered species even within protected reserves.

Our team in Betampona in the eastern rainforest has tackled this problem by encouraging families to rear poultry and pigs so that there is no need for them to hunt for bushmeat. Solo and his family have benefitted from this support. Now they are the proud owners of about 50 healthy chickens, providing them with eggs and meat.  The team gives them all the advice they need on housing, feeding and vaccination to ensure that their chickens thrive and keep providing the family with the protein they need in their diet. 

MfM has been funding work in Betampona for over 20 years focusing on supporting families like Solo’s to improve their livelihoods whilst living in harmony with their unique environment. In addition to securing a sustainable food source for local communities, our work has also helped lead to a noticeable decrease in slash and burn agriculture, and a 26% increase in the income of those supported by the project over three years which has been spent on education and health. Projects such as Betampona are a shining example of how helping communities is vital to protecting Madagascar’s unique wildlife.

To support our work to preserve Madagascar's amazing flora and fauna, and to help people like Solo, visit