archipelago of Comoros is a study in contrasts, being the
third-smallest nation by area in Africa, with one of the
highest population densities, and home to the largest active
volcanic mountain in the world, Mt. Karthala. Erupting in
2006, 2005 and 1991, during the 2005 eruption which lasted
two days, 40,000 citizens were evacuated and the crater
lake in the volcano’s caldera (a large crater formed
by volcanic explosion or by collapse of a volcanic cone.)
was destroyed. This was the site of the soil collection
from Comoros, facilitated by Lanto Hariveloniaina, another
friend of Common Ground 191, in the U.S. Embassy in Moroni,
capital city. Mr. Hariveloniaina also obtained soil from
archipelago is notable for its diverse culture and history,
as a nation formed at the crossroads of many civilizations.
Though in the contested island of Mayotte the sole official
language is French, the “Union of the Comoros”
has three official languages—Comorian, Arabic and
Comoros islands' vegetation like that in most volcanic soil
regions is rich and varied: 65% of the world's perfume essence
comes from here, being processed from the blossoms of ylang-ylang,
jasmine and orange. Spices, including nutmeg, cloves, pepper,
basil and vanilla, are another mainstay of the economy.
Surrounded by coral reefs, Comoros might be one of the island
nations growing in size thanks to lava, rather than shrinking
from global warming.
oldest of the islands, Maore has the richest soil as well
as good harbors and local fish populations, due to its ring
of coral reefs. The islands of the Comoros Archipelago were
formed by volcanic activity. Mount Karthala, an ative shield
volcano is the country’s highest point, located on
Ngazidja. It contains the largest patch of its disappearing
rainforest. Karthala is currently one of the most active
volcanoes in the world. The Comoros constitute an ecoregion
in their own right, Comoros forests.
view of Mount Karthala after a November 2005 eruption. Ash
obscures the islands (outlined).
the bowels of the earth comes the soil of Comoros, erupting
into being and creating a growing island nation. We thank
Lanto Harivelonialina of the U.S. Embassy in Madagascar
for collecting this fresh, new soil for our project.