Medair’s innovative response to drought

Medair’s improves access to clean water in Madagascar.

In southern Madagascar, Medair aims to play a key role in improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for vulnerable communities affected by drought and ‘kere’ (famine).

Normally, people living in remote villages in southern Madagascar need to walk 10 to 40 km to get water. But during the rainy season, these long journeys are no longer necessary and are avoided by using the local “sihanake”, or ponds and puddles.

For Teratsoa – a 20-year-old father who lives in the rural commune of Anjeky Akilikiry – water is a daily struggle. He sat down with us to share his story, telling us how that day, he had woken up early with his siter to fill up their 200-litre jerrycan with water from the sihanake. The pair shared how they use the puddles not just to quench their thirst, but to prepare their meals on a daily basis.

Teratsoa is one of the 51,963 people who will benefit from Medair’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) response to drought and Kéré in southern Madagascar. Our main objective with this project is to actively contribute to the reduction of mortality resulting from a lack of access to WASH practices.

To achieve its objectives, Medair decided to adopt a holistic approach to the project, by not only aiding with improved infrastructure, but also raising awareness around the importance of good WASH practices at a community level. The project will see the implementation of community water safety plans to improve access to safe and clean water and will provide access to WASH services for vulnerable people, focusing on basic health centres and community interventions.

Medair is making significant strides in southern Madagascar by revamping the way water reaches remote villages with upgraded water transport carts. These carts are not only more efficient and sustainable, but also feature an electronic payment system that makes it easier for community members to buy clean water. It’s an impressive initiative focused on bringing clean water to even the most isolated areas, while also promoting transparency and giving the local economy a much-needed boost.

We would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to Unicef for their generous funding, which has been instrumental in bringing this project to life for the benefit of thousands of people.