Clean water gets the party started in Madagascar

Image: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

There was a feeling of excitement in the traditionally laid-back and serene villages of Belavabary and Ambonidobo in Madagascar.

Musicians were tuning their instruments, girls were decorating the area with potted plants and flowers, and technicians were making the final tweaks to the new community taps that would bring clean water to these villages for the very first time.

Before, people in both communities had to collect dirty water from a far-off pond. Now, clean water is flowing in their villages – and it’s your amazing support that makes Big Days like these possible.

Watch the celebrations as clean water arrives in Belavabary and Ambonidobo:

In Belavabary, the honour of turning on the new tap for the very first time fell to the eldest person in the village, 85-year-old Dadabe, who celebrated in style with some amazing dance moves.

Noeline, Lalasoa and Feno – or ‘The Three Musketeers’ – opened the first of the new water points in Ambonidobo, screaming with joy and raising a toast of a glass of fresh, clean water.

“This is amazing!” says Noeline. “I no longer have to fetch water far away from home.”

Enthusiasm, hard work and motivation

Portrait of Noeline with her friend Lalasoa after water arriving in their village in Madagascar.
Image: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

The two villages also have an extra-special reason to feel proud – it was their hard work and dedication that made it all happen.

Working with our local partner, FIKRIFAMA, both communities took an active part in building the new gravity-fed water system by digging kilometres of trenches in order to lay the new pipes.

They even carried pipes, iron bars and dozens of bags of cement to the water source at the top of a mountain five kilometres away because it’s inaccessible by vehicle.

Evariste pictured with his colleague, Daniel, at water point number three in Belavabary village, Madagascar.
Image: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

“We’ve been working so hard for the last few months to install the new water system,” says 22-year-old Evariste from Belavabary, who was a key part of the project and will work as a technician to maintain the new water points. “Now we have clean water in the village!"

And with 13 life-changing community water points – three in Belavabary and ten in Ambonidobo and its surrounding hamlets – things will never be the same again in these tranquil villages.