Tokontanitsara-bas Public Primary School Madagascar

Tokontanitsara-bas school can be found in Amboniandrefana village, in the central southern part of Madagascar – a country where, right now, 79% of schools don't have a waterpoint and 40% don’t have a toilet.

The school has 127 pupils and three teachers. There is no clean water to drink, nowhere safe to go to the toilet and no way for pupils and teachers to wash their hands. This often makes them sick and drastically affects their motivation to learn and to teach.

Teachers and girls find it especially difficult to cope without toilets and many drop out of school completely. But this year, everything will change.

Meet the staff and pupils

Fanjavololona Rabodoarimanana

Fanja, head teacher at Tokontanitsara-bas school.
Photo: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

Fanjavololona Rabodoarimanana, 52, is known by the villagers as Fanja. She is the head teacher at Tokontanitsara-bas and also teaches pupils in levels two and three.

"Our life in school is hard as we don’t have water," she says. "It has a huge impact on the pupils' daily lives because, apart from being thirsty, they often miss school because they get diarrhoea, because of the dirty water they drink.

"Having safe water and a toilet will really bring happiness and peace for us as teachers as well," she explains.

The toilet at Tokontanitsara-bas school.
Photo: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

The teachers are used to following their pupils to the school toilet, pictured above, to make sure it doesn't collapse. They have to be careful because it is dangerous for children. The teachers themselves are used to looking for somewhere else to go to relieve themselves, often in neighbouring villages or outside.

Nambinina Rasoarimalala

Nambinina, a pupil at Tokontanitsara-bas school.
Photo: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

Nambinina (meaning Lucky) is 11 and is a student in level three at Tokontanitsara-bas. She enjoys language lessons and would like to be a teacher when she's older.

"In school, when we're thirsty, we don't have water to drink. The water we collect is very dirty and it makes some of us sick," she says, telling us she would love to have water and toilets available every day.

The water-fetching group

The water fetching group at Tokontanitsara-bas school.
Photo: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

The water-fetching group is in charge of getting water for the school's pupils to wash with, to clean the blackboard with and even to drink. It is a tough job as the children have to walk a long way before finding any water, and sadly it might make them ill.

But, thanks to support from schools like yours, Tokontanitsara-bas Public Primary School will be transformed this year, with the arrival of taps and toilets.