“If I was to vote, I would definitely vote for the rubbish bins because at least they feed us,” scoffed Claudine Rajaonarison. She had been scouring the streets of Antananarivo since 04:00 for plastic to sell. Rajaonarison, a 35-year-old mother of three, said she will not be voting for Madagascar’s next president in the November 7 poll. Not one of the 36 candidates has impressed her. “The candidates are vying for power for themselves – not the wellbeing of the country,” she said, a large sack of rice on her shoulders as she struggled to sift through piles of rubbish with her children alongside a railway line. She then washed her haul of two dozen plastic bottles to be sold for 1 000 ariary ($0.30), enough for 400 grams of rice for her family who sleep outside surrounded by rats.
With a poverty rate of 76.2%, Madagascar, a former French colony, is one of the world’s poorest countries according to World Bank data.
It is the only country not rocked by war to have become poorer since independence according to researcher Francois Roubaud who co-authored “Enigma and paradox: Madagascar’s political economy”.
Presidential hopefuls rarely venture into the capital’s giant slums even when their campaigns are in full swing.
Full Article: Presidential poll embitters poor Madagascans | News24.