The end of ECDD is just the beginning …

 

As we publish the final reports from the ECDD project, the Project Coordinator looks back over his last six years in the Comoros.

 

L'équipe ECDD

L’équipe ECDD

It seems like another age when I arrived in Anjouan in October 2007 to get the ECDD pilot phase up and running. I’d spent three months in the Comoros in 2005 leading a student project researching the causes and consequences of deforestation, and then worked hard to build the support and partnerships to make a longer-term intervention a reality. So my arrival was both the start of something new and the culmination of a lot of effort.

I remember fondly those early days when everything was new, I was able to spend much more time in the field, and there wasn’t the pressure of substantial funding and a large team and programme to manage. We started work in the first village, Kowé, in January 2008. Both Badrou and Siti were with me then, and both have since had kids that are frighteningly old already! We spent at least a couple of nights each week sleeping in the village, sharing mattresses with those who were generous enough to put us up. And during the day we discussed the livelihood and environmental problems the villagers were facing and planned our first intervention with the creation of a community vegetable garden.

Gradually the team grew as we expanded to our second village Nindri and recruited agricultural experts to manage our livelihood interventions. Moustoifa was another early recruit who is still with us, taking up the role of wise old owl in the team, as well as Misbahou, who evolved into our local coordinator and is now in the UK on a Darwin Initiative Fellowship. The expansion of both our intervention zone and our activities continued, and by 2010 the team was up to 20 and the initial annual budget of £40,000 had grown to over £300,000.

Our work in the field underwent a similar transformation since those early days. Whilst the vegetable garden made a lot of money, a large proportion of it didn’t go where it was meant to, and our participatory analyses were both too long and failed to give us the full understanding that we needed to devise appropriate interventions. It’s been a long process of trial and error evolving from those first stages, and of learning from our partners in the Comoros and in the region, particularly Madagascar.

Kitty, en action lors du tournage

Kitty en action lors du tournage

Now we are justifiably proud of our impact on rural livelihoods and agriculture in the Comoros: over 1800 farmers have been supported to improve their revenues in a sustainable manner, which makes around 10,000 direct beneficiaries when their families are included, and innovations that ECDD introduced are being reproduced by our partners in the Comoros and integrated into agricultural policy. Similarly, the forest maps and species distribution models produced by the ecological team – all unique for the Comoros – have been provided to the authorities for integration into national conservation planning and the creation of protected areas. Our work on collective natural resource management also laid down a first for the Comoros, with the development of a model for collective work based on voluntary labour – I was particularly delighted when we managed to learn from our early mistakes in Kowé to support the villagers in replacing their ageing water supply system and transform water availability for the entire village. Another personal highlight was seeing the impact of the Hadisi ya Ismaël film that was produced at the end of 2012 and drew on a lot of what we had learnt through the project to encourage more farmers to engage with our work and adopt sustainable agricultural practices. The film went viral in our intervention villages as well as winning the second prize at the Comoros inaugural international film festival.

We went through a lot of ups and downs to reach those achievements; working in the Comoros proved more challenging than I could ever have imagined. The large number of failed interventions is both testament to difficulty of working in the Comoros and one of the reasons why it took a long time to gain trust in the villages. The lack of social cohesion and respected power structures made all the work tricky, particularly the efforts at collective management, and the isolation of working in the Comoros produced many challenges. I am hugely grateful for the commitment of the different team members through the life of the project to stick at it through all the difficulties. That commitment and their skills shine through to anyone that meets them, something that never fails to make me proud.

 

The culmination of ECDD is of course the creation of the new NGO Dahari, which is now coming to the end of its first year of existence. We took a lot of care and time over the development of Dahari, and I think it’s perhaps the one aspect of the work where I can’t see where we could have made big improvements in the process we followed. We have a fantastic set of members who have voted an engaged and competent Conseil d’Administration (the French equivalent of a Board of Trustees). Several of the ECDD team that has benefited from so much training over the last few years have become employees of the NGO at the same time as the opportunity has been taken to bring in some fresh blood. And the NGO is launched with already a strong integration in its initial area of interventions, and key financial and technical partnerships already organised in the Comoros, in the region, and internationally.

 

The challenge for Dahari in the field is to integrate habitat and biodiversity protection measures into the landscape management model – something that is being explored through the adoption of a payment for environmental services system – whilst developing a better monitoring and evaluation framework and continuing to improve the agricultural support. And institutionally, the key will be to gradually improve the NGO’s functioning to leave it more and more independent of external support whilst continuing to build its profile in-country and in the region. I am confident that the necessary bases have been already laid for Dahari to achieve wide-ranging change in the Comoros into the future, and I aim to accompany Dahari in its first couple of years of existence to solidify those foundations.

 

So that leaves me with the job of thanking everybody who contributed to the success of ECDD and made the creation of Dahari possible. On behalf of the team I want to thank them all, from the beneficiaries who were patient with us as we learnt, to local and international partners and advisors who stuck with us during the difficult times. We hope that they are as proud as we are of the role they played in ECDD, and as excited about what Dahari can achieve in the future.

L'équipe Dahari - Janvier 2014

L’équipe Dahari – Janvier 2014

Misbahou talks to us about his Darwin fellowship

Misbahou was the Assistant Coordinator for ECDD. At the end of ECDD he was awarded a Darwin Fellowship to develop his management and leadership skills to improve his contribution to the new NGO Dahari.. Misbahou explains what he is doing on the fellowship.

What is the Darwin Fellowship?

The Darwin Fellowship is a scholarship awarded to local staff working on Darwin Initiative projects, which are carried out in countries that are rich in biodiversity but poor in resources to protect that biodiversity. I was one of thelocal staff working within the ECDD project in the Comoros, which was financed by the Darwin Initiative and the French Development Agency between January 2010 and December 2013. The aim of the scholarship is to improve the competences of local staff working in the field of biodiversity conservation by broadening their skill sets.

After four years of input in the ECDD project, my determination and engagement helped me to win the prestigious Darwin Fellowship. It was a great achievement that I haven’t taken lightly, and which will allow me to learn many new things as well as to travel to Europe for the first time.

What shape will the fellowship take?

The fellowship will last a year. It began in September 2013 and will finish in June 2014. It will take place in two countries, Madagascar and England. Madagascar was chosen for its similarity to the Comoros in terms of the issues and challenges it faces in the conservation of its biodiversity, and also because there are several organisations that have been doing conservation there for a long time, and we felt we could learn from. Bristol UK will be the setting for a two-and-a-half-month apprenticeship inEnglish, followed by a training course in leadership for natural resource management at the Durrell Conservation Academy in Jersey.

What is the aim of the fellowship?

I’ll be spending time with these organisations in order to improve my project management and leadership skills for conservation and rural development, as well as my technical capabilities in subject areas relevant to Dahari’s work in the Comoros, through training, exchanges and field visits.

What has your experience been like so far?

On 2 September 2013 I arrived in Madagascar for the first two months of the fellowship. My time was to be spent with two organisations: first was Blue Ventures, a UK-based international NGO which has worked on marine conservation in the south-west of Madagascar for over ten years; second was the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, another British NGO which has more than 25 years’ experience in protecting species and supporting communities in Madagascar.

On the morning of Friday 6 September 2013, I left Toliara and travelled for six hours by 4×4 down sandy roads that took me to Andavadoaka, the site of Blue Venture’s work. The next day I wasted no time in immersing myself in learning about their approach to marine resource management. My work involved carrying out a field visit in partnership with one of the local BV techniciansto discuss several BV projects with the communities, including discussions with members of BV’s team on specific aspects such as social marketing, population health and environment (PHE) strategy, participatory environmental monitoring and support for local organisations.  I had encountered some of their methods with Dahari, but others were completely new to me. For example, I had never learnt how to manage participatory environmental monitoring with the communities or how to put in place a plan of action with local organisations. There was also an integrated approach to the PHE strategy, which was among the most important ideas that I took away with me. This approach deals with three issues at once, and the great thing about it is that whenever two elements are working well, the third element is automatically dealt with too. It’s a 1+1=3 formula.

Mission accomplished with BV, I flew to Antananarivo and made contact with Durrell Madagascar. We had decided that Marolambo would be the ideal area for my training. There, Durrell works in partnership with Conservation International to protect the Nosivolo River, which is home to Madagascar’s most endangered native fish species, such as the songatana. I arrived on site after a three-day drive down muddy roads and made contact right away with the local organisations that work to protect the Nosivolo, with the aim of sharing their experiences of community management of natural resources.

The aim was for me to come to understand Durrell’s approach to the process of creating local organisations and the associated support required for strengthening local capacities. To that end, I visited four villages to meet communities and local organisations. Durrell has managed to bring together all the different influence groups in each village, which has meant that they’ve succeeded in putting together strong organisations. The NGO has also been able to group them together regionally in order to create synergies between the various stakeholders who work with natural resources. This approach has also benefited from the Malagasy people’s social cohesion and by the existence of ‘Dina’, a type of customary law ratified by the Malagasy government which has power equivalent to that of a regional decree. Dina means that social harmony can be safeguarded, and in some ways it is a modern form of justice for resource management and conservation. This simply means that the communities are one hundred per cent in control of their resources.

As a result, I’ve come to realise that we in the Comoros can draw inspiration from the experiences of Malagasy communities in reviving the local systems of social governance that were once administered by Comorian communities. Of course, those communities will require support throughout that process. They see the protection of their biodiversity as a global priority – it certainly is for their survival, since the irrational exploitation of resources has become an economic necessity.

On the whole, I am really satisfied with the two months that I spent with these two organisations. I learnt a lot, and I’m now finalising my report while continuing with the fellowship. I have now been in England for a couple of weeks, and I’ll be staying with a host family for six months. I’ll let you know very soon about my English experiences and all the skills that I’ll have acquired here. Until then!

Understanding the hydrogeology of Anjouan and the impact of deforestation on the availability of water resources

Arnaud Charmoille, PhD in Hydrogeology and volunteer for the NGO AVSF, came to study the groundwater resources of Anjouan and our intervention around the forest area Moya for two weeks during the month of August 2012. The objective of the study was to better understand the problems of deforestation and its impact on the availability of water on the island. The full report (in French) with summary entitled “Outline of the hydrogeological functioning of the island of Anjouan (Comoros): Typology of available water resources and discussion on the impact of deforestation” is available through this link.

In August 2012 Arnaud Charmoille, hydrogeologist and volunteer for the NGO AVSF has collected testimonies, data and field observations on the island of Anjouan to better understand the hydrogeology of Anjouan and the impact of deforestation on the availability of water

In August 2012 Arnaud Charmoille, hydrogeologist and volunteer for the NGO AVSF has collected testimonies, data and field observations on the island of Anjouan to better understand the hydrogeology of Anjouan and the impact of deforestation on the availability of water

As mentioned on several occasions in this blog, the island of Anjouan is facing a supply problem for drinking water and reduction of its surface water resources. Deforestation is systematically evoked to explain the apparent decrease in the flow of rivers, by the public and the various authorities of the island.

My name is Arnaud Charmoille, hydrogeologist and volunteer for the NGO AVSF. I have been sent on this mission to work with the ECDD project to give an opinion on the specific water problematic of Anjouan. The question, the expectations of the population, being the first to do this kind of work in Anjouan were prime motivating factors to carry out this mission.
My work began with a visit to Anjouan in August 2012, I collected testimonies from the different water actors and collected data and field observations. These data were hydrological, hydrogeological, geological, hydrochemical, geomorphological and geographical.

This visit was followed by a major work of interpretation of the acquired data and observations in the field. In particular, I compared the results with data available in the literature dealing with volcanic islands that are contextually approaching the island of Anjouan.

Example of analysis of hydrochemical results. Samples are represented depending of their sodium and chloride concentration. This kind of graph allows the differentiation of shallow aquifers from deep aquifers.

Example of analysis of hydrochemical results. Samples are represented depending of their sodium and chloride concentration. This kind of graph allows the differentiation of shallow aquifers from deep aquifers.

This analysis allowed me to draw a diagram of the hydrogeological and hydrological functioning of the island. Once this was done I could analyze how the deforestation could have an impact on the water resources of the island.

A cloud forest in Anjouan.  This forest type is formed on the peaks, slopes and ridges, the reliefs are often bathed in fog

A cloud forest in Anjouan.
This forest type is formed on the peaks, slopes and ridges, the reliefs are often bathed in fog

Originally, a part of the Anjouan natural forest is a forest type “cloud forest”. This forest type is formed on the peaks, slopes and ridges and is often bathed in fog. In these forest types, specific plant species develop that are capable of capturing the fog droplets. This phenomenon is frequently observed on islands of small area and high relief which is the case on the island of Anjouan. In tropical region, the provision of additional water produced by cloud forests increases the amount of water available for infiltration and maintains high flows during the dry season. This ecosystem also prevents flood during rainy season, two points that are currently lacking on the island of Anjouan!

Impact of cloud forest mutation and disparition on hydrogeological cycle (Foster, 2001)

Impact of cloud forest mutation and disparition on hydrogeological cycle (Foster, 2001)

At the isle of Anjouan deforestation, except in some areas, has completely removed the original vegetation cover; part of the cloud forest has been transformed into a habitat consisting of species introduced by man as coconuts, clove, banana, etc. However even if there is a certain vegetation cover, these introduced species do not exhibit a good intercept of fog droplets. There is no provision of intercepted additional water by the fog. Groundwater that feed streams is therefore seeing its rate decrease significantly during dry season. Considering that the majority of primary forest has disappeared, we can imagine that the situation is being stabilized…

These findings, which are the result of the early work of this type carried out on the island, must of course be supplemented by work and further investigations.

Although a reduction in the flow of streams exists and can be attributed to deforestation, it seems, however, from the results and observations made during this mission that water resources are sufficient for Anjouan. It looks more that the provision to the population is a real problem. In the future it will be hard to envisage that if the population continues to grow, to limit the water distribution system in catchments such gravity. Exploitation of groundwater seems inevitable in certain sectors of the island that are provided with little surface water.

Finally, I wish to thank all people, which directly or indirectly helped me to carry out this mission. Special thanks to the ECDD project team that left me with unforgettable memories of the island!

For those interested in reading the article (in French), you can download it here.

Rehabilitating water infrastructure in the villages of intervention

On February 20th 2013 we celebrated the end of the the project to improve the water infrastructure in the village of Kowe. Approximately 130 people attended the celebration, which shows the enthusiasm of the villagers, who praised expressed their delight at finally having access to water all day long and all year round.

Environ 130 personnes étaient présentes à la Fête de l'Eau à Kowé le 20 janvier 2012. La fête clotûre les travaux des infrastructures en eau dans le village.

Approximately 130 people attended the celebration of the water in Kowé, which marks the end of rehabilitation of water infrastructures in the village.

Between 2011 and 2012, the ECDD project has supported rehabilitation of water supply infrastructure in five villages . This activity has two main aims: firstly to improve the water supply for more than 5000 people, thus also significantly reducing the time required for fetching water, especially for women and children. And secondly, ECDD wanted to develop a model for community-led development projects implemented by the villagers working together without pay, a model that ensures better durability of activities and promotes a sense of ownership for the end-users.

Water issues

Les réseaux d’adduction d’eau sont anciens et très dégradés, qui résulte à une perte considérable d’eau. Sur la photo: captage d'eau détruit à Ouzini

Water supply networks are very old and degraded, resulting in a considerable loss of water. In this picture:: a destroyed water capture at the village of Ouzini

The issue of water is one of the leading concerns for Anjouan villagers. The water levels have been in decline for the last 40 years, linked to huge levels of deforestaion, and thirty permanent rivers have become intermittent. And in most of our intervention villages water supply networks (are very old and degraded, resulting in loss of a considerable percentage of the water that enters the pipes.

In addition, since these facilities were built more than 20 years ago, they are no longer suited to the needs of the growing population. Population density on the island is close to 594 inhabitants per km ² and is still growing today. This demographic pressure weighs hard on the already scare natural water resources.

Les infrastructures en eau ne sont plus adaptées aux besoins de la population croissante.

Water infrastructures are no longer suited to the needs of the growing population.

The people of Anjouan are thus facing a dual challenge: a water resource that is becoming scarcer, and an increasing number of users of that resource.

Community management

The first step was to clearly identify the priorities for each village, completed thanks to studies carried out by our partner l’Union des Comités de l’Eau d’Anjouan (UCEA).

Un projet communautaire: impulsé et porté par la demande et le travail collectif non rémunéré des villageois. Sur la photo: Atelier participatif du Comité d'Eau à Nindri

Community project: initiated and driven by the demand and collective unpaid work of the villagers. In this picture: Participatory workshop of the Water Committee of Nindri

ECDD then engaged to support the villagers to rehabilitate their water infrastructures.
The support consisted in strengthening already existing water management committees in budgeting and business planning, and in mobilising the villagers. In addition, the project allocated 2000 euro for each village for the purchase of equipment and the provision of services for labor. For their part, villagers, participated with in-kind contributions and labor and a contribution of 100 KMF for each household, symbolising the commitment of each.

For the village of Kowe, given the importance of the work to execute, the motivation of the community, and a gift from the governor of Anjouan, the Community contribution reached the sum of 1,000,000 KMF (2000 €), and the project in consequence invested further resources. For more information on the work on the Kowe infrastructure, please have a look at a former blog

Rehabilitation works

Rehabilitation works in the five villages were completed by the end of last year 2012.

Borne fontaine à Salamani après les travaux

Water fountain after the works in Salamani

In the village of Nindri, the water capture infrastructure had not been maintained since its construction so a complete rehabilitation of the catchment was necessary,. In the village of Salamani, the work was concentrated on repairing leaks and constructing public standpipes in each neighborhood. In Outsa a new water capture system was constructed in order to increase the capacity of water supply to the village, and in additionnew water fountains were built for each neighbourhood.

Captage d'eau à Ouzini après travaux

Water capture in Ouzini after works

Several activities were needed in the village of Ouzini given the state of degradation of the water capture unit at Magouni,. Namely, dredging and trenching, repainting of inner and outer coatings, construction of a retaining wall and installation of a fence and a hatch to Block the leaves and other materials carried by the river. Finally, at Kowe work consisted in replacing in the network of galvanized pipes which had become completely rusted.

Reflections and ideas for the future

Although it is too early to fully assess the impact of the work, the first echoes from the communities are very positive. They highlight that water is available in the villages throughout the year, waiting time in front of water fountains has decreased, and water collection distances have been reduced. The villagers can therefore take advantage of this saved time to invest in other activities, which implies an improvement in their living conditions..

Kowé après travaux

Fountain at Kowe after works

This first phase of supporting communities forcollective work also helped to better understand the mechanisms of organization and functioning of village water committees and to better identify the support and guidance needed.

The project is very happy with these results and is currently in full reflection with water committees to develop more activities, based on a model of ownership of small projects, and towards the participatory planning of landscape management – something extremely complicated in the Comoros context

Collective work ensures the water is flowing in Kowe, Anjouan

The ECDD project has been supporting the communities we work with to improve their access to water. Work has just finished in Kowe to replace the delivery network of under-capacity and leaking pipes. For the first time the villagers have access to water all day long, all year round. To achieve these results, the community contributed 2000 euros through household level contributions and a donation from the Anjouan governor, as well as volunteering to complete the manual work, and the ECDD project contributed 4000 euros. We’re planning a big party to celebrate soon, and blogs and more photos will follow. In the meantime we thought we’d share with you a couple of the reactions from Kowe.
 

water development infrastructure Comoros

Reactions from two Kowe residents

Cartographier les zones coutumières pour faciliter la planification participative de l’aménagement des terroirs villageois

Sven Ten NapelPar Sven Ten Napel – Assistant technique en aménagement des terroirs

Bonjour, je suis le nouvel assistant technique, responsable pour le développement de l’approche terroir au sein du projet. Je suis chargé de développer une gestion des terroirs villageois dans notre zone d’intervention – c’est-à-dire mener un processus de réflexion avec les associations et populations locales pour arriver à des décisions et actions au niveau du village sur l’utilisation de territoire du village comme le développement agricole, la gestion de l’eau et la gestion forestière.

Le projet ECDD s’est engagé depuis quelques temps avec son partenaire technique AVSF de développer l’approche terroir. Les terroirs villageois étant assez vastes et hétérogènes, nous avons choisi de commencer d’abord par la réalisation d’une cartographie villageoise des zones coutumières (lieux-dits). Avec ces outils participatifs, l’équipe du projet pourra communiquer plus facilement avec les villageois sur les priorités d’aménagement de leurs terroirs. Les cartes des lieux-dits seront donc exploitées comme un outil de communication et de planification, les limites des terroirs villageois sont en aucun cas des limites juridiques des territoires villageois.

Nous avons trouvé qu’il est difficile d’utiliser des outils comme Google Earth ou des cartes classiques au village avec les paysans car ils ne le trouvent pas faciles à interpréter. Par contre, sur terrain tous les villageois maitrisent très bien les noms et les localités des lieux-dits de leurs propres terroirs.

Gestion territoires Anjouan Comores

Une formation sur la cartographie des lieux dits dans Google-Earth sur le terrain

Le projet a développé une méthode innovante qui c’est avérée assez facile à réaliser, correcte et rapide, qui mérite d’être partagée. Nous traversons le territoire avec un guide local qui nous partage les limites des lieux dits en utilisant des éléments du paysage, et nous enregistrons directement cette information dans Google Earth. J’ai pu former notre technicien écologique Daniel, ensuite il a parcouru la totalité du terroir de deux villages en quelques jours et a pu cartographier tous les lieux-dits présents avec son ordinateur portable.

Le projet a l’intention de continuer ce travail de cartographie des lieux-dits dans les autres villages avoisinant la forêt de Moya. Ce travail facilitera par exemple nos diagnostics en cours sur les dynamiques de défrichement et de coupe de bois dans les sous-zones autour de la forêt.

La prochaine étape dans le développement de l’approche terroir dans les villages consiste à planifier des activités d’aménagement terroir avec les villageois pour ces sous-zones. Des ateliers touchant la problématique de protection des ressources naturelles (forêt, eau, terre) et de développement agricole sont en cours.

Une image 3D de Google Earth avec les lieux-dits cartographiés de Outsa

Two weeks in Anjouan researching the root causes of a loss of water resources

By Arnaud Charmoille, Volunteer Hydrogeologist
Anjouan’s population tripled between 1961 and 1994. On a small island (424 km²), the direct consequence has been massive deforestation, with forest cover lost at the highest rate in the world over the last ten years according to the FAO. In parallel to this, over 45 permanent rivers became intermittent or seasonal.

What are the links between these different social and environmental changes? What role does deforestation play in the reduction in water flows?

I’m a hydrogeologist and I visited Anjouan for two weeks as a volunteer with the NGO Agriculteurs et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF) in August 2012 to try to find answers to these questions which will guide the ECDD project’s work.

Eau ressources naturelles Anjouan Comores

Taking physical and chemical measurements at the Papani spring which supplies the village of Adda.

I arrived on this volcanic island right in the middle of Ramadan… but proof that water has become a real worry for the island’s inhabitants was that the fact people were fasting never held back our investigations for one moment. In every village that we visited, people were keen to help me visit the springs feeding their village, even if they were many hours’ walk away.
Eau ressources naturelles Anjouan Comores

Deforested zone on the plateau above Koni-Djojo in Anjouan.


Eau ressources naturelles Anjouan Comores

Water decantation basins at the Oungoni catchment which supplies part of the capital Mutsamudu

During the two weeks, my research focused on the geology and the geomorphology of the island, in particular to collect hydrogeological data (concerning underground water), hydrological data (surface water) and hydrochemical data (the chemistry of the water).

An understanding of the geological structure of the island will give me useful information about how water circulates underground, so I’ll be combining observations from my trip with those from other geologists who have worked on the island to get as much information as possible.

To get information on hydrology and hydrogeology, I visited the water catchment reservoirs and sources feeding all the villages where the ECDD project works, as well as those for the capital, Mutsamudu. I also visited as many springs (where underground water emerges) as possible around the island and studied the geological context of the water outlets. At each of these points (40 in total) I took a number of measurements such as the temperature, the mineral content of the water and the pH. At the most representative points I took samples of water to bring back to France with me for chemical analyses. These different measurements and analyses will allow me to clarify how Anjouan’s underground water functions.

Eau ressources naturelles Anjouan Comores

Wells for market gardening at Pomoni.

Now, what’s left to do is to analyse in detail all the information I collected in order to put together a diagram of the island’s underground water resources. This model is needed for any discussion of the possible causes of the reduction in water resources on the island and the impact of deforestation in the different areas of Anjouan.

This visit has allowed me to make certain observations already though (before all my data is analysed). Firstly, the water infrastructure in Anjouan is often too small for the needs of the population, and not well maintained. Secondly, even though the island is not large geographically, it is very heterogeneous, both in terms of climate as well as from a geological point of view. These differences influence ground cover and the hydrogeological functions of the island. Underground water resources are of different types, and function differently depending on the area of the island they are found in.

Eau ressources naturelles Anjouan Comores

A meeting with local stakeholders to present the investigations led during the two week trip.

Concerning this last point, my first investigations seem to show that the contribution from underground water to above-ground water flows (run-off, rivers etc.) is not equivalent in all the island’s regions. For example, Niumakele seems to have fewer underground aquifers than the rest of the island, because the rocks are not very permeable, so don’t store water well. This means that it is very probable that deforestation will have a greater effect in these zones because the only way of storing water is in the forest ecosystem (if still present).

I’ve still got a lot of work left, and the hardest part is still to do… The two weeks I spent on this island of landscapes that make you feel like you’ve discovered a lost world, were the easy and fun part of the work! The welcome I received from the Comorian people and the good times I spent with the ECDD project team have given me memories that I won’t forget.

Eau ressources naturelles Anjouan Comores

In the foreground : the Dzialatsunga crater, behind that : the Cirque de Bambao, and in the background : the Mozambique channel.