Life-Changing Improvements Underway in Madagascar Villages

A new 42-month Medair project in Analanjirofo region will give more than 125,000 people access to safe drinking water and 12,000 people better access to latrines.

People often perceive Madagascar as a heavenly place on earth, a place for holidays, where white sand beaches and coral reefs compete in beauty with the primary forest and lemurs. This is not false but it is not the whole picture either.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, listed 151st (1) out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index. Did you know that in 2010, less than half of the population (44.9 percent) had access to safe water? This makes Madagascar one of the worst of all the Sub-Saharan countries for safe water access (the  average for the region was 60 percent (2) in 2008).

Thanks to funding from the E.C. Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, Swiss Solidarity, and private donors, Medair has launched a new project that will last for 42 months with aim of sustainably improving safe water access and sanitation in 10 townships in Analanjirofo region, northeast of the country. This region was chosen because it is a remote area prone to annual cyclone strikes where one million people make a subsistence living mainly from agriculture

In the nine rural townships where we are working, only four percent (3) of the residents currently have access to safe and clean water.

  • Medair plans to build 705 safe water points and bring the coverage up to 85 percent of the population (4).
  • By 2017, more than 125,700 people will have access to safe water for the first time.
  • Medair is also aiming to have 800 improved latrines built in the urban area of Maroantsetra where population density makes sanitation a challenge.
  • We plan to reach more than 12,000 people in Maroantestra, bringing the sanitation coverage of improved latrines from 29 percent (5) to 65 percent (6).

“Improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is what we’ve been doing for years in rural Madagascar,” said Daniel Calzada, Country Director. “We are confident that this major new project will improve the general health of thousands of Madagascar’s most vulnerable families.”

1 Human Development Report 2011, UNDP.
2 Source: Rapport OMD 2011.
3 Source: SIBA (Système d’information de la baie d’Atongil. Enquête Avril 2011.
4 Source : Données WASH, Medair. Novembre 2011.
5 Idem que la note 3 – SIBA, enquête Avril 2011.
6 Idem que la note 4 – Données WASH, Medair. Novembre 2011.

Medair helps people who are suffering in remote and devastated communities around the world survive crises, recover with dignity, and develop the skills they need to build a better future.

This information was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.


Candles of change

Candles of change

In the midst of adversity, Lyudmyla found comfort and strength in facing life's challenges. “I thought we would all be left behind. Luckily, Medair offers us a lot of support. After we received the aid, my kids started smiling more, and my soul started feeling a...