This article is one of a series from my recent Pulitzer Center-funded trip to Madagascar. To find all of my reporting to date with photojournalist Rijasolo from our project, “Madagascar: When the Aid Dries Up,” click here. To read the full article at The Economist, click here.
December 30, 2013
SHADED from the blazing midday sun, Justin Mbehosoa Sambon enjoys a brief respite from hacking away at a gravel formation, whose fragments he sells to building contractors putting up houses in the nearby coastal town of Mahajanga. The contractors’ trucks have come less and less often of late. “Time advances, but life moves backward,” he says. His collar bone protrudes from his gaunt frame. Like most of Madagascar’s impoverished population, he and his four children eat sparingly. When asked if he expects the country’s recent presidential election to improve his lot, he musters only a weak shake of the head and a bitter smile.