people in Madagascar don't have access to safe water.

88% of people in Madagascar don't have access to improved sanitation

Almost 4,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Madagascar is famous for its wildlife and landscape, which ranges from rainforest to desert. However, the island is at risk from extreme weather conditions which contaminate water sources and destroy sanitation facilities. 

Across the island levels of access to water and sanitation services are varied. Many groups are rarely considered and in rural communities, which are often remote, conditions are typically worse. 

In Madagascar, 70% of people live below the poverty line on less than $1.25 a day. An average walk for water takes three hours and this loss of time makes it hard for people to break the cycle of poverty. 

Find out more about how we tackle these issues in Our approach >

How it affects people

Girls fetching water from a water source

Adolescent girls

Nyemo Amani, Tanzania, spends around four hours a day collecting water. Her school has no separate toilets for girls, so she drops out when she is menstruating.
A disabled man

Disabled people

For disabled people like Bartholemew Mtelia, who lost his leg in a lion attack in Tanzania, it can be extremely difficult to fetch water and sanitation facilities are often inaccessible.
A woman washing her child


Francis Okello washes her son outside the hospital, Uganda. Infants are unable to develop normally if their bodies are deprived of essential vitamins and nutrients because of diarrhoea.
An elderly woman putting on a jacket

Older people

In countries with little or no social security, older people are often forced to pay people to fetch them dirty water or make other sacrifices such as going without food or medication.
Two boys filling water bottles from a tap


New taps installed at a school in Tanzania. Teacher Abraham Amas says, “Before, girls were not attending well, they were always late because they were fetching water.”
A group of adolescent girls fetching water with containers


The time-consuming burden of collecting water in developing communities generally falls on women, often taking several trips a day and many hours of their time.