Near Morondava, a sea inlet inspired some Malgasy entrepreneurs, to exploit the salt
We had the pleasure to be invited to visit this promising location, where no guest has yet set foot ! The reason is that it’s a very recent project, which started only two years ago.
The site, called Siran’I Menabe
has a strategic location at Ampataka Tsibolobitika ,connected to the inlet. There, the sun is unbearable and the strength of the wind makes you eat sand anytime you smile ! Absolutely ideal conditions
Source image satellite 
Only for the access, an 11km road (better call it a track) had to be created through the thick vegetation. This roadworks needed 90 workers, hand-working while living and sleeping on the place during 90 days
On the site, an hamlet has been settled so as to accomodate 40 workers. The salt-workers live there 9 months a year, with their families ; for those who wanted.
9 months is the working length on site, considering the salt treatment up to the harvest
It’s Felisoa Rabehasy , involved in the project, who invited us to discover this place :
«First, we spent 9 months in the area, so as to keep aware and reactive to any need related to the progress of work. today we can finally relieve each other so as to stay only three weeks at a time.»
«All this time spent far from our families, that stayed in Tana, we spend it in Antsakoameloka , a village between Morondava and Ampataka Tsibolobitika »
Solofoniaina Rakotoseheno, Felisoa’s brother-in-law, is also involved in the business :
« Yes, we are settled in a little wooden cottage without any comfort. There is a specific organisation, because it is not only a workplace but also a restplace and our place to relax.
We are from 5 to 8 to share the place, considering the different protagonists. Once my wife and daughter came for a week. They settled back some basic society rules they found essential. That worked pretty well... till they left !»
Felisoa and Solofoniaina confied also to us «this location, in Antsakoameloka , is a strategic considering the administrative coordination, because we have to stay related to the fishing village’s chief whom depends Ampataka Tsibolobitika . Furthermore, we all have to meet regulary.»
The most impressive of Siran’I Menabe
is the extend landscape
Beautiful with the tree, but more obvious without it
First we saw the seawater (almost like in paddy fields)
After, we wait for the sun to make the colour appear
Then, it grows... anyway, it aggergates
Cristals are collected and brought to be cleaned
Up to now, 30 hectares are exloited
40 more hectares have to be converted !
The fleur de sel promises an excellent quality of salt
In fact, salt cristals are very clear and qualitative
A good quantity of salt is prepared to be submited to laboratory analysis
Here is a math problem for those who are interested :
If the motor pump can only pump 8 hours a days( when it’s high tide) ; and the sun ; as the sun shines of 14 hours per day, what is the evaporation rate ?
More seriously :
Considering that the salt march are approximately 7 inches deep, and that they are going to lead to 70 hectares, with a 6% salt rate sea water, what is the quantity of salt that the salt workers hope to exploit ?
The first full yeld harvest is about to beggin in those several weeks. The quality has been recorded. Now everybody hopes that there will also be the sufficient quantity.
In the meantime, we can already predict they will get more salt than expected because we forgot the samples we have been given.
Hopefully, we could taste the fleur de sel in real conditions, while tasting it for lunchtime.
A couple of hours later , we’re back on the 11 km track, to leave this "secret place".
We go through dwarf baobab forests.
Back on the main road, we make a detour to see the baobabs in love !
The TATUP project
We have learnt that the harvest, begun in November gave 800 tons of salt.
Pictures have been sent to us :)