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Home > Island People > Snapshots of Daily Life

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is placed in the lower tier of nations in terms of life expectancy (53 years), number of people with access to safe drinking water (47 percent) and number of undernourished people (40 percent).

The country's rudimentary road network has been so neglected in recent decades that segments of major intercity roads have become dirt tracks, and some bridges on these routes are in danger of collapsing.

Most rural inhabitants live lives similar to those their ancestors led hundreds of year ago, without benefit of electricity, telephones, running water and other modern conveniences. They build houses from mud and sticks or handmade wood-fired bricks with thatched roofs and dirt floors. They walk or take ox carts to market. They tend their fields with rustic machetes, hand-forged shovels and plows pulled by the ox-like zebu. Even in some cities most goods are bought and sold in small stores or stalls in big open-air markets.

A Day in the Life
A man displays his crayfish, a women saws a block of homemade sugar and other snapshots of a typical Malagasy day.
Views of the people, baroque architecture and steep-hilled vistas of the country's fourth largest city.
People of the South
Photographs of some of the people and places found in the southern part of the island.
The Market in the City of Toliara
Markets are the commercial hubs of the country. Among the goods you’ll find at Toliara: vegetables and sundry aluminum pots and pans.

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