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Oct 8, 2009
Category: Madagascar
Posted by: Andy

Ankavandra October 2009

Klaas-Jan de Koning, Hoveraid


The hovercraft performed as normal. The river was streaming slowly and there were a lot of  sandbanks. The back fingers has to be replaced. We took off the whole back of the skirt with the fingers and took it to Tana. The fuel guages need replacin and Jeroen is also looking at the windscreen wipers.


Survey by Hovercraft

We went to Maroloka and found a traditional village with no more than 500 people in it. We explored the Manambolo river  to the south and found very small villages with between 4 and 12 huts together. It is an very remote area, without any roads.  A lot of people said that they have blood in their urine potentially indicating bilharzia - they say that TB also is an big issue here.


They are doing work on the road so between Tana and Maintirano is now very good and useable for the trailer with the hovercraft. The road from Betsipolitra to Ankavandra is still really bad and you cannot cross the river by Ankavandra. It is the end off the road. They are building an big market in Bitsipolitra. In the dry season provision is coming in with trucks to Soaloka from Ankondromena.

The plan is that they finish the road through the mountains from Tsiroanomandiddy to the end of the plateau a couple km from Ankavandra. They are making the road in order to install a communication tower. At themoment they don’t have money for the section downhill to the town. In Ankavandra itself they are building a small hospital building. Outside the town there remains little or no access.

Well project

With a team of four from BushProof we went to Ankavandra. The first day we did an survey with the vice-mayor. We had the option of installing three Canzee pumps- and we had three at a borehole with the Madrill technique. The vice-mayor wanted us to install pumps on the mayor ’s and his own well. But we explained that they were for the local people. So we came up with an alternative solution and the vice-mayor agreed with it.

We had an agreement with the Lutheran Pastor that we would place a pump on his well but following an inspection of the well it was evident there was not enough water in it and the construction of the well was in an bad condition. Sadly it was not safe to dig it out deeper. We found a well at an old water tower which was build in 1958 which apparently always water and is still in and good condit

ion. It was the best well we had seen only requiring the surrounding of the well to be cleaned. It is a private well and the owner has promised to take care oft it. It was agreed that we would install a pump here so that if there is no water avalable at the market people can get it here.

At the market a hand well was dug because we expected some rocks in the ground and in such circumstances it is not possible to use the Madrill technique.

They found water at nine metres after which they dug deeper, as the water level was going down. At about 12 meters they hit solid rock so they couldn’t go any deeper. The level of water standing in it was about 1 metre and the flow was poor but the local authorities still wanted us to install the pump. They expected it would only give problems in October (at the end of the dry season). The pump works, but could give only some buckets a day.


Near the FJKM church on public ground we decided to use the Madrill technique. They have tried hand digging several times at that location but it has always collapsed. BushProof drilled up to twenty meters in their first attempt. They found a lot of water. After pumping up water for the whole day the pump still gave good clear water. The villagers where so enthusiastic they drank the water directly when it came out of the pump, even though it had not yet cleared. Pumping up from 20 metres is heavy, but useable for adults.

After installing the pumps BushProof instructed some responsible men in how to maintain the pumps. The cooperation with the BushProof team was very good.

The people were very thankful for the wells and the pumps. There remains too little drinking water for the village and BushProof found some interesting spots to use the Madrill around the football field.

We found this girl with eye problems. The family agreed that she should fly to Tana for surgery. She and her grandma stayed in Tana under the care of  Dr. Fernand.

Day by day

13/10 Depart 5:30 Tana- 10:00 Tsiroanomandidy - 15:00 Beravina – 17:30 Ankondromena

14/10 5:30 Ankondromena- 10:00 Betsipolitra- 16:00 Ankavandra, install camp/base

15/10 Transport Bushproof gear across the river from the landcruiser to the base.

16/10 Agreement local authorities where to place the pumps. Preparing the surfaces of the wells

17/10 Making slab for the water well near the water tower. Searching for girl, which we can operate i

18/10 Sunday, resting

19/10 Hovercraft to the river. Start Madadrill. Start hand digging market. Found girl.

20/10 Arrival HoverAid team with MAF. Servey Maroloka village.

21/10 Depart HoverAid team. Madrill on max. depth

22/10 Installing pipes (Madrill).

23/10 Installing pump by the water tower.

24/10 Servey with the hovercraft to the south of the Manambolo.  Finish both slab around pumps.

25/10 Sunday, resting.

26/10 Handing over the pumps to the community.

27/10 Installing the pump on the market. Instruction how to maintain the pumps.

28/10 07:15 Ankavandra- 10:00 Betsipolitra- 13:30 Ankondromena- 16:00 Beravina- 08:30 Tsi’didy.

29/10 07:30 Tsiroanomandidy - 11:45 Tana