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Ed Kashi | Madagascar

Organization: VII Photo

A rice farmer surveys his fields after planting rice shoots in the muddy earth. Unless properly managed, growing rice produces a large amount of methane gas that contributes to the global warming threat.

With increasing inequality in living standards, the voices of those without are growing in number, clamoring to be heard as the precious resources upon which their existence depends are quickly depleted beyond repair. Nowhere are the effects of this disparity more evident than in Madagascar, a country where more than two-thirds of the population live below the international poverty line. For the Malagasy, their small piece of earth provides food, shelter, and often, their only source of income. A quiet struggle for survival--a lack of noise--has allowed the world to all but forget this incredibly beautiful and extremely fragile island.

A 2010 Prix Pictet Commission provided VII photographer Ed Kashi the opportunity to work with Azafady -- a small, grass roots NGO assisting the poorest and most vulnerable communities of southeast Madagascar lift themselves out of poverty, while protecting their environment from further harm.


These images were made for the 2010 Prix Pictet Commission, working in cooperation with the United Kingdom based NGO, Azafady, to show issues around land, forests and poverty in the southeast region of Madagascar. The purpose of the images and stories collected here is to illustrate the lack of development and Azafady's efforts to promote sustainable development to improve the lives of the people and how the land is used.

Azafady Ltd was established as a Scottish charity in 1994 and registered in England and Wales in 1999. The charity has three permanent staff based in the UK responsible for overall project leadership, fund raising for projects implemented in Madagascar and awareness-raising in the UK and internationally. They are supported by an active board of trustees in all decisions relating to project management. ONG Azafady Madagascar was established as the local partner organization to Azafady Ltd in 1996. This is an independently registered Malagasy NGO with approximately 70 Malagasy staff. ONG Azafady has been responsible for co-development, implementation and evaluation of all Azafady projects since 1996. Azafady are recognized specialists in capacity building at community level, and over 100,000 people are estimated as having benefited from one or more of their projects in the last decade

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