Home > Newsletter > Newsletter n° 49 (English version)

15 March 2016

Newsletter n° 49 (English version)

Say no to the foreseen eviction of 48 families in Antsiranana
(Diego Suarez, Madagascar)

Following an adverse ruling of the trial court, 48 families are in risk of being evicted in this month of December 2015. Most of them have been living since more than 10 years on these plots which were sold by SEIMAD to the FILATEX Company.

Filatex Company is owned by one of the richest economic operators in Madagascar. It got talked about already in 2014 when 50 families were brutally evicted in Antananarivo.
Some families resisted but could not cope, being an earthenware pot facing a cast iron one.

The situation in Antsiranana is specific due to the fact that it is about a 0.04 square kilometres sold by SEIMad to the Filatex Company in the past. The land title of the “Jardin de Filatex” estate is recorded as n°14500 BK.
A careful study made by SIF (Solidarity of land stakeholders) indicates that most concerned families have lived on that land for more than 10 to 15 years, and built homes often in sheet steel. In spite of their often modest income resulting from jobs as teacher, mason, truck driver, agricultural technician, carpenter, small shopkeeper, families invested along years important amounts in improving their houses and their children quality of life. Some have power supply.

Are these families to live on the streets and become homeless, and lose the results of so many years efforts?
Given the problems faced by Malagasy families with modest income to buy lands and get a land title, this Diego Suarez situation is a further example of difficulties in accessing land ownership and of social injustices which prevailed in the sector under successive regimes, and which are now growing worse at national level.

According to a recent news article, the Filatex owner is besides the Pakistan Honorary Consul in Madagascar. He then would enjoy some immunity if attacked for his initiatives in the island. The newspaper quotes the State Minister in charge of Presidential Projects, Infrastructure, Equipment and Spatial Planning who would have confirmed on the radio that the Filatex owner bought many estates in Madagascar. These last months, in the capital city and its neighborhood, the company would have started evicting a number of families who lived on estates for which land titles are detained by the Filatex Company. From now on, conflicts are extending to other cities.

It is time for authorities to take responsibility facing this type of situations which are growing in number over the whole national territory. It is up to the authorities to find an adequate and acceptable solution so that Malagasy families will not live on the streets and be completely deprived.

The fact of owning a land title should not give right to ignore the future of those who do not have one. In this case, nothing is known about the conditions and terms of transferring this estate from SEIMAD (a mixed economic enterprise which became a limited liability company with State owned shares) to Filatex. Is it that the fate of the majority of Malagasy population not being included at all in the concerns of State officials, and that only private and foreign interest is taken into account?

We call upon national authorities and Diana region officials to find a more human and more fare solution, and to take the necessary steps so that families living on the estate called Jardin de Filatex are not expelled.

In the present situation, it is important to avoid increasing poverty for the peoples: expelling these families who have a relatively stable income from their living space would make them poorer and would increase the number of homeless and deprived persons, while the owner of the land title has means to find alternatives for realizing his projects.

We call upon the Malagasy leaders to eventually take actions aiming at respecting the basic rights of Malagasy citizens, specifically the modest, poor and very poor ones in all regions of Madagascar, to own a land for living, a decent accommodation and a home to shelter families, by stopping always helping rich people to get richer.

23 décembre 2015

Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier (SIF) –
Collectif pour la Défense des Terres Malgaches (TANY)

Références :