Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental need of the first importance.
Photo: Helvetas


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In Madagascar, the NGO Helvetas is encouraging the people to participate in decisions about water and is helping raise awareness of hygienic issues. Local water authorities are learning how to involve and control private suppliers in the water sector.

Many village residents in Madagascar get their water from rivers or other natural sources, which are often contaminated as virtually all the inhabitants defecate in the open air. Hardly any households have toilets or washrooms, with a resulting high child mortality rate. The health situation is also reflected in the population’s productivity, with a consequent negative impact on family incomes.

To improve this wretched situation, Helvetas Deutschland, a development organisation with Swiss roots, is working with its local partner organisation SANTARA to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups in rural communities. In the northern Madagascan villages of Ambohitrandriana, Maevatanana and Anjiabory Helvetas and SANTARA staff are working with village inhabitants to repair the defective infrastructure of two health centres and three elementary schools. 

All the installed water taps will in future have drinking water from proper chlorination filters. In addition, the health centre at Ambohitrandriana is being electrified so that it can be lit at night and medication can be properly refrigerated.

Construction of latrines in communal autonomy

To supplement the hygienic infrastructure outside the health centres and elementary schools, community volunteers are being trained to work with village families on building so-called mourabas latrines from natural materials.

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