The incomplete development of Lake Masay
In 2004, the Masay marsh underwent a major development operation with digging work, dyke construction and the uprooting of countless water hyacinths. Large embankments were required to build the dyke. Earth was borrowed from hills close to the city, sometimes razing them completely. A pathway around the lake was constructed for pedestrians and cyclists. Trees and plants grew very poorly on the banks, perhaps because of the quality of the soil taken from the hills (mainly composed of quartzite and consequently of low fertility).
The lake comprises two basins that regulate excess water and simultaneously provide rough filtration of the water that flows from the city-centre outlet canal into the southern basin, and from there into the northern basin before reaching the Andrianatany canal to the west.
Upgrading of the lake perimeter
Parts of the lake perimeter feature cultivated gardens in narrow strips and informal settlements built up against the walls of large properties from which Araucaria trees and other large trees stick out. While these spaces are private and inaccessible, they enhance the visual environment for people strolling around the lake.
This lake must become an agro-ecological and tourist development model combining leisure (fitness trail, sports fields, rest area), food and ornamental crops, as well as environmental preservation and education.