Cyclone Resilient Landscape. The case of Vatomandry, Madagascar

This book is based on Esther Bergstra and Roxanne Hornman’s Master's thesis 'Resilient Landscape: The Case of Vatomandry, Madagascar', winner of the African Studies Centre, Leiden's 2013 Africa Thesis Award. This annual award for Master's students encourages student research and writing on Africa and promotes the study of African cultures and societies.

The thesis deals with the mitigation of the effects of tropical cyclones in Madagascar. Vatomandry is a city at the east coast of Madagascar and deals with a cyclone season every year, leaving the people with destroyed houses, floods and an unhealthy environment. The NGO CARE provides emergency relief to the most vulnerable in these situations. In this thesis it is stated that the landscape based design approach should be implemented in the disaster risk reduction (DRR) program to establish increased resiliency in cities like Vatomandry. Therefore the aim is to find actions necessary to establish this resilience. The actions relate to methodological and physical actions. To realize resiliency, long-term commitment of the inhabitants is needed. Hence it is important to empower inhabitants to make decisions, environmental development plans and to enable them to execute these plans themselves. Participative methods were used to bring different stakeholders together to form the basis for the landscape plan. The landscape plan is not a blueprint design. It provides recommendations for physical action to improve the environment. The design principles are general applicable for similar cities along the east coast. Interventions involve a drainage system against floods, shelterbelts, sand fence, purifying wetlands and vegetation for shelter, health and income. 

Year of publication: 2018
Series: African Studies Collection
Volume: 65




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Esther Bergstra, Roxanne Homman
African Studies Centre