Mar. 12th, 2010

erkhyan: My fursona (Default)
Ilakaka, in central southern Madagascar, was until 1998 a mere village of 500. Then the locals realized that theese stones they were selling for cheap to a foreigner were actually something known as "sapphire" in the outside world. The news spread wuickly, and everyone and his uncle moved to Ilakaka, in a sort of repeat of the 1849 California gold rush.

It turned out the region did indeed contain a few sapphire deposits, but nothing quite as big as hoped. That wouldn't stop the prospective miners though, and they dug deeper and farther each time, going as far as to encroach on the nearby Isalo National Park, threatening it with destruction.

Ilakaka has been growing exponentially since then, now even being estimated at about 100,000 inhabitants. That would make the city the fifth, possibly even the fourth largest city in the country after Antananarivo, Antsirabe and Toamasina.

The best part, though? Legally, the city of Ilakaka doesn't exist. For the authorities, it is still just the village from 15 years ago, just with "a few temporary residents" added. As such, Ilakaka isn't treated as a real city but as a small village. Its inhabitants cannot vote in local elections, infrastructures are largely of the private kind, and law enforcement is minimal. In that, Ilakaka has become the local Far West town: rampant crime, general lawlessness, and yet people keep coming with hopes of becoming rich.

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erkhyan: My fursona (Default)
Franck P. Rabeson

September 2011

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