university of bristol


Our beneficiaries are young fishermen/women and their families in coastal Madagascar. Fishing is a prominent form of employment and the largest source of income for coastal communities in Madagascar. Due to unpredictable weather conditions, poor boat quality and a lack of safety equipment, Fishermen consider fishing here to be dangerous. In particular, strong winds often cause their canoes to capsize and break. This means the fishermen have to swim back to shore and for many of them, this is a long swim. Some become exhausted and drown, despite being able to swim. Fishermen are therefore often unable to safely fish more than twice a week, putting them and their families below the poverty line.  An initial needs assessment identified over 500 deaths in 10 years in the region of Maintirano alone. 





In response to this we have designed a buoyancy vest that can be made easily by sewing four 1.5 litre plastic bottles into a rice sack. They provide enough buoyancy to keep a conscious human afloat. The plastic bottles and rice sacks are easily sourced in rural areas of Madagascar and they are often discarded as waste. By up-cycling these materials, the buoyancy vests are an affordable and sustainable solution with minimal impact on the environment.

By using cheap, up-cycled materials, the buoyancy vests are a cheap and adequate solution to the lack of affordable and accessible life jackets in the coastal regions. By providing sustainable buoyancy vests we to decrease the incidence of drowning.


key Statistics

10+ Empowered

10+ Directly Impacted

10+ Indirectly Impacted