WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE (WASH): LESS THAN 40% OF THE MALAGASY PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO DRINKING WATER

The Malagasy population is still confronted at a low rate of access to the drinking water. Following to the ministry of water declarations: only 24 % of Malagasy profits it.

The lack of infrastructure and the insufficiency of the national politic on the water management is the main cause.  Certainly, Madagascar adopted in February 8th the decree n°2474/2018 establishing the national platform for the promotion of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. But, its entry in force is not yet effective. Madagascar have to find more than 2 or 3 billion dollars to resolve the problem of water for its 22 million inhabitants.

Note that, Madagascar is one of the five countries where access to water is the most difficult for the population in the world. In this way, The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a five-year, US$30 million project to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in rural Madagascar. RANO WASH, which stands for ‘Rural Access to New Opportunities in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene’, will be implemented by a CARE-led consortium that includes Catholic Relief Services, WaterAid, BushProof and Sandandrano with activities planned through 2022.

The latest report of WaterAid International announced that the Malagasy government through its Ministry of Water and Sanitation spends eight million Euros per year. It is not enough, because, for more accessibility, the annual budget would take 180 million euros each year. Therefore, more than 14,000 children with diarrhea die each year in the country due to lack of drinking water. for information, the diarrhea is the second main cause of infantile mortality in Madagascar.

So, the new USAID project is important for malagasy people because It will improve the health of people in 250 communes in the regions of Vatovavy Fitovinany, Atsinanana, Alaotra Mangoro, Amoron’i Mania, Haute Matsiatra, and Vakinankaratra. RANO WASH will increase access to clean water for vulnerable populations, including girls, women and people with disabilities. In total, over 600,000 people will benefit from the project. This includes 300,000 people who will get access to clean drinking water through 140 water supply systems. These systems will be managed by local businesses with training from the project. A further 375,000 people will have better sanitation options thanks to improvements and rehabilitation work to existing toilets and cleaning stations.

190 public facilities, including health centers and schools, are among the locations destined to receive improved sanitation facilities. “Clean water is essential to our lives. We all need to drink, to bathe, to clean our clothes, and to ensure our children are clean and healthy,” said Acting USAID Mission Director, Aaron Bishop, speaking at the launch event. “This project will ensure over half a million people will enjoy healthier lives and these results will tackle head-on one of the leading causes of disease and death in Madagascar and help the country achieve its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.” RANO WASH will work with Madagascar’s Ministry of Water, Energy and Hydrocarbons and Ministry of Public Health to develop improved WASH policies and strategies. This will be done by strengthening the monitoring and evaluation system of the WASH sector by providing better tools, resources and training.

The project will also empower civil society organizations and community members to be advocates for safe, sufficient and affordable WASH services in their communities. The project will engage with partners and existing networks of community health volunteers to promote healthy behaviors such as the use of safe drinking water and toilets, regular handwashing and hygiene, menstrual hygiene for girls and women, food hygiene, and waste management.

Nearly half of rural households in Madagascar do not have a toilet (42%) or access to clean water (44%), according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of 2016. RANO WASH will help address these challenges and improve the health of rural households and communities. “USAID’s commitment, expressed through RANO WASH, will continue improving health outcomes for the Malagasy population,” said Dr. Alain Randriamaherisoa, Country Manager for the RANO WASH project. “We expect this project to have significant impact on the productivity, health, and well-being of the Malagasy people, through improvements in sustainable and professional WASH services, community-driven and sustained behavior change, and improved WASH sector governance and monitoring.” said him.