29.6 million

Everywhere you look in Madagascar is a sight like no other. 90% of wildlife is found nowhere else on earth. And immigration from far away has given its people a cultural identity very much their own.

The fourth biggest island in the world is less known for its lack of clean water and decent toilets. The Government has been making plans to reach people with these essentials – but local governments and businesses lack the power or funding to move forward. Meanwhile, climate change is making water resources harder to protect than ever before.

Almost half of Madagascans have no clean water, and around nine in ten still have nowhere decent to go to the toilet. Without water, it's difficult for people here to make hygiene a priority. Deadly diarrheal diseases are common.

Our work helps the country’s poorest people unlock their potential with clean water, toilets and hygiene. We get the Government and businesses talking and working together, and we work to put hygiene at the top of the agenda. We're making a lasting difference and changing what has been normal for so long.

people don't have clean water. 

That's almost half the population.

people don't have a decent toilet.

Around 9 in 10 people.

children under five die a year from diarrhea. 

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

Time to celebrate

Image: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala
I've been waiting for this for 70 years.
Razafindrasoa, Lovasoa

These were the words of grandma Razafindrasoa as she drank clean water for the first time.

You could feel the excitement in the air in her remote village of Lovasoa. People were looking for banana leaves to decorate the water points with. Some were building a fence around the tap stands, while others planted green palm trees. It was a big day for everyone.

One by one, people turned on the taps and clean water came gushing out. Many of the children had never seen clean water before. Some people screamed with joy, some smiled and clapped their hands. People were astonished and amazed. Many hesitated and asked for help before turning the tap. They couldn’t believe it.

This happy moment is life-changing. It’s a time to celebrate. But the real celebration will be when clean water becomes a normal part of daily life, changing everything.

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