The Power of We by Himo System

“ If you give a man a fish, he will eat today. If you teach a man to fish, he will eat forever”, this ancient Chinese proverb features exactly ith what HIMO Project does. HIMO stands for Haute Intensité de Mains d’Oeuvre (French words), which could be translated as High Intensity of Hands Labour. Madagascar has used this system to build classrooms and roads in many countryside since 1999 . It is an evidence that where population is poor and there is no engine to do the work, practicing Himo system is the best way to create infrastricture. Actually, 70% of the Red Island’s population lives in these places and they earn their life by agricultural and breeding activities. Poeple are found on these actvities because the soil is rich and the weather allows them to diversify. Those occupations bring lots of products and may improve social and economical situation in these places. Unfortunately, the lack of infrastructures limits development and unlinks most of Malagasy people to the 21th century civilization.

The result of that difference, and especially because of the lack of education and the gape between the contryside and the downtown, some intermediates people and foreigners are tempted to grab high profit through it. As farmers do not have lorry to transport their products to the matket place; they have to accept trasporters conditions. Then, these people decide the price of the merchandize. And even farmers haggle to add value to their product, the price is still much lower. To solve the trouble, every body think that ir is important to set a system which can help the countryside to improve knowledge, first, then to put a suitable way to raise their income

The Himo Project consists then in teaching population some techniques of residential and road construction without big building machinery. Its goal is based on three points:
1) the development must come from the local population itself,
2) using in priority all local materials and equipements,
3) make sure that an effective control system could work for long time.

The project includes whole the structures and persons who should take part of the development of the village. On one hand, State looks for the partnership. A partner may be a private company or an association, but helps could come also from international cooperation. But the government is the basic partner amongst all the others. Most of the responsibility leans indeed on township’s capacity to animate the population. So, partners thought that it’s better to give administrators trainings about accounting and project management. A training about human resource management should be organized too with some other mayor. And as the project is about town planning, planners and the town council follow staff training before leading the activity. In additional, partners’ responsibility is not only to give training but they find capital for the community’s project too. But backing should not be a sine qua none condition to start the development procedure. The problem comes from the sensitization. To face that, the International Bureau of Labor, one of the partner of Himo vulgarization had helped few cities and villages to be a pilotscheme. These pilots are used as a window where all people who are interested in Himo project could have a real view of it.

To strengthen outreach, partennaires have developed means of communication. The “Echos de l’HImo” is a magazine specializing in Himo system. It is published in Malagasy and French and distributed free to the target population and other partners

As the main idea of Himo is to get population together around one project; all activities depend then on how this community can use its own potentialities to create infrastructure in its place and to its own benefits. So, on the other hand, the population is encouraged to assess their needs. It defines also means and ways to manage the project. Incorporate town leads and helps population in the technical manner to build a project statement. When a common project is settled, villagers give it to the town administrators who defend it between partners. When the project has partners’ accords, population begins to gather materials. To that, partners give the simple equipeents like carts, wheel barrows, spades and shovels that they can use. These equipments are there just to make the work more quicker. The town administrators submit also an application to those who would like participate to the project. Most of the time, they employ poeple who have expreriences on public construction or surroundings fields. But most of the job does not need speciality because they are manual works, every one have his part of duty. One

Photo: Tribune.com
of Himo specificity is also to include women in the process of the development of their place. Women’s participation concerns to water transportation or other material manipulation. All of these people will get a few money, about 1.5Usd per half-day. In fact, the road or the buildingworks held only during a half day because they are not the population’s main activities. So they should not discrupt the farming occupation.

When all of these conditions are assembled, the construction can start. Each range of the project structure ensure a specific occupation. Financers and the state provide the money to pay the wages. The mayor and his staff brings their technical support. The population does the job.

Classrooms according to the standard anti cyclonic system are built with the Himo. These achievement are reported by newspapers in order to motivate other communities to do the same

With a big motivation and a real transparency of all the procedure, children could have new classrooms. Farmers can transport their products. with their own carts, they can join the city center and sell their agricultural products directly to consumers.

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