© Helvetas

Water - the Source of Life

© Helvetas

Many villagers in Madagascar get their water mostly from rivers or other natural sources, which are often polluted, as almost all inhabitants defecate outside. Hardly any household has toilets or washrooms and all these factors lead to a high infant mortality rate. The health situation also affects the productivity of the population and consequently has a negative effect on the income of the families.

  • Project Name
    Improvement of the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups in rural communities in northern Madagascar
  • Project Phase
  • Funding
    This project is financed by the W.P. Schmitz Foundations on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
  • Thematic focus
    WASH & Water Governance

In order to improve this desperate situation, we are improving the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups in rural communities through our local partner organisation SANTATRA. In the northern Malagasy villages of Ambohitrandriana, Maevatanana and Anjiabory, in cooperation with the villagers, we are repairing the inadequate infrastructure of two health stations and three primary schools. With professional chlorine filters, drinking water will also come from all installed taps in the future. In addition, the health station in Ambohitrandriana will be equipped with electricity so that it can also be lightened at night and medication can be adequately cooled.

To ensure that not only the health stations and primary schools gain access to hygiene infrastructure, volunteers are also encouraged to receive a bricklayer training in order to build so-called mourabas - latrines at village level made of natural materials - together with the families. The project would not be sustainable if all villagers did not use latrines outside school or when visiting the health stations. In addition, the basic WASH messages are included in the school curriculum, which the pupils then pass on at home.

© Helvetas
The washrooms of the health station in Maevatanana are being renovated... © Helvetas
© Helvetas
... as well as the washing rooms of the primary school in Anjiabory. © Helvetas
© Helvetas
The villagers actively participate in the project activities in order to provide better living conditions in a participatory way. © Helvetas
© Helvetas
During the project, further latrines will be built by trained masons, so that all villagers have access to latrines. © Helvetas

It is also ensured that women and mothers are also included, as they primarily manage the households, look after the children, wash them and cook the food for the families. Teachers and medical staff are also actively encouraged to disseminate and use the WASH messages in an exemplary manner. They are role models and therefore important multipliers for a successful project. In addition, partnerships (Public Private Partnerships) are established with private investors who pay for the financial and technical maintenance of the sanitary facilities. They will also continue to be responsible for maintenance after the end of the project.

Water is the source of life. Access to clean drinking water and adequate hygiene will help the people to improve their health situation and thus improve their economic conditions and reduce child mortality in the long term.

The project is financed by the W.P. Schmitz Foundations on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Further information on the W.P. Schmitz Foundations can be found here.

Here you can find more Information about the Work of the Helvetas Network:

© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen

How Helvetas Supports People in Madagascar

Improved income for small farmers, better hygiene, clean drinking water and the protection of water resources are some of our priorities.