25 million

With almost half the population of Madagascar still living without access to clean water, our work takes on an even higher sense of urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re spreading hygiene messages through local organisations and the media, and encouraging prioritisation of water, sanitation and hygiene to improve public health. We’re curbing the spread of COVID-19 through public hygiene campaigns and installing contactless handwashing devices in markets, schools for coming official exams, healthcare centres and Government offices.

Our global response to COVID-19

Everywhere you look in Madagascar is a sight like no other. 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 diarrhoeal diseases are common.

people don't have clean water.

Almost half the population.

don't have a decent toilet.

Around 9 in 10 people.

More than 8,500 children under 5 die a year from diarrhoea. 

Caused by dirty water and poor toilets.

What does WaterAid do in Madagascar?

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

Time to celebrate

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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