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October 24, 2022

Aroo Falinirina, PhD student, on his study of human health and livelihoods in Ranobe Bay

I am happy to share an update of the work that the Human Health and Livelihoods team is doing. Our team consists of Chris Golden, Hervet Randriamady, Heather Kelahan, and me. And each of them will be sharing a news update soon.

Our team is seeking to answer these questions  in the villages of the Bay of Ranobe, southwestern Madagascar: 1) What are people eating?; and 2) Is the seafood they are catching contributing meaningfully to their nutrition and livelihoods? We will assess people’s diets to answer the first question, and look to quantify human dietary diversity, the volume of seafood consumption, and the supply of micronutrients to the diet to assess adequacy of intake. To answer the second question, we will map the diet data and the seafood catch data to income surveys and human health indicators (e.g., stunting, wasting, hypertension, etc.). ” We will also attempt to assess how mariculture practices in the Bay contribute to food security and human health and well-being, as well as their potential interactions with natural and artificial reefs. Reaching these objectives would involve data collection through surveys. 

Before the surveys can begin, I led a complete census of 12 villages in the Bay from March to June 2022. From this census, we counted 18,547 inhabitants distributed in 4,057 households and we were able to categorize 80 sources of income in all villages. The most common source of income is derived from the fishery. We have counted around 4,709 fishermen in the Bay with 75% male and 25% female. I also led the piloting of certain survey instruments, including household and individual questionnaires to collect information about the nutrition, health status, expenditure and income,... In parallel with the pilot I conducted participatory mapping of fishing areas in each village.  


The team is now finalizing the questionnaires for the baseline survey and follow-up surveys that will be conducted in the communities of the Bay. This survey will allow us to capture a lot of information such as income, expenditure, health status, nutrition, coping strategies index, water and sanitation, etc. The follow up survey will be conducted simultaneously in sampled households in 12 villages around the Bay of Ranobe every 4 months during 3 years. My PhD research seeks to assess the socio-economic impact related to coral reef restoration, by integrating data across the other teams who are implementing the reef restoration, and collecting data on changes in fish diversity and abundance, and fish catch.