It is distressing to hear that ?the crisis is over?, and talks of reconstruction, reconciliation or peace are going on, but the country is still reeling from its adverse economic impacts, and the citizens are feeling the brunt of its paralyzing aftershocks. The sad truth is that we have yet to reach the end of the crisis. In reality, what we have reached, so far, is the beginning of the end of the crisis which can prove to be every bit as challenging, if not more so, as the political crisis itself.
That being the case, what then? The steps we take, at this critical juncture, can mean the difference between a return to more of the same misery, and a successful happy ending. We need to look at some short-term alternative solutions. Just as a physician has to stabilize a patient, and keep the bleeding, and the infection in check, while he tries to remove a bullet, or perform any kind of life-saving operation, we also need to come up with a way to keep the situation from degenerating, while we work on the long-term solutions. Although the Malagasy people, by their very nature, are a patient lot, and seem to have perfected the art of ?leading lives of quiet desperation?, it would be a costly mistake to keep ignoring their silent cries. It may take them a very long time to reach their threshold of pain, but when they do, they may just erupt like a volcano, and before we know it, we will have an untenable situation on our hands.
Staying in a service station line for over twelve hours is counter-productive, so is staying home because you cannot reach your place of employment. Why not alleviate the energy and mass transit crisis by providing the workers with more fuel efficient and more versatile alternative forms of transportation, such as motorcycles, motorscooters, bicycles, or even horses? This will allow us to conserve some of that precious fuel, reduce pollution, increase employment, and productivity, and give a boost to the economy, by reopening the factories. It will keep the cars off the streets while we try to perform the necessary repairs, and construction designed to improve the highway infrastructure. Last but not least, it will go a long way to reduce unemployment, restore pride, and morale, foster cooperation, and maintain confidence, and goodwill.
While some may view simplistic short-term alternative solutions, such as these, as a step backward, we should think of them as an integral part of any healthy well balanced long-term recovery project. They are creative, and constructive ways of reaching our goal, and building a legacy without neglecting the pillars and foundations which will make it last. They are the tourniquets that will keep a patient from bleeding to death, the bandage that will stop the infection, and the cold compress that will keep the fever down, until the doctor arrives. They are the backward steps we have to take, in order to move forward; the tactical maneuvers master strategists resort to when they find themselves in tight spots, between the devil and the deep blue sea.