MCD Leading UNICEF Project to Achieve Universal Access to WASH in Madagascar

April 19, 2022

People discussing WASH objectives in Africa

MCD Global Health was selected by UNICEF to implement a water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) project assisted by its partner Mavila, a local non-governmental organization, in Madagascar. This program aims to assist Madagascar in meeting its goal of universal access to WASH by 2030.

In Madagascar, a 2018 survey indicated that 57% of the population do not have access to an improved water source. At the same time, water resources are under pressure from human activities and increasingly vulnerable to climate change: flooding from cyclones in coastal areas and, in the south of Madagascar, prolonged drought.

In addition, access to adequate sanitation and hygiene also remains low. Overall, 40% of the population defecate in the open, and 77% do not have access to basic hygiene services. The majority of public institutions, such as schools and basic health care facilities, remain without adequate WASH access.

This is MCD’s third WASH program in Madagascar. Its most recent program was the Fonds d'Appui pour l'Assainissement (FAA) program, funded by the Global Sanitation Fund, that took place from 2010 through 2020 in 21 of Madagascar’s 22 regions. As a result, 2.8 million people in Madagascar were living in an open defecation free (ODF) environment at the end of the program, an unprecedented result at scale for the country. Other results from the FAA program include:

  • 167 communes in Madagascar developed plans and strategies for supporting improved sanitation and hygiene.
  • 108 communes in Madagascar unlocked public finance, establishing annual budgets.
  • An estimated total of $10.3 million mobilized by the FAA program in Madagascar for the construction of 460,358 latrines.
  • A total of 438 Village Savings and Loan Associations with 43,800 members from 8,769 households in 297 villages.

“MCD is excited to bring our WASH expertise to Madagascar once again,” said Dr. Rija Fanomeza, country director at MCD. “Our locally-led, human-centered approach aims to improve institutional, legislative, and financial frameworks while increasing the demand for, and the supply of, improved sanitation goods, services, and hygiene practices."

The UNICEF WASH program will address governance, programmatic, and social challenges to WASH in Madagascar’s Anlanjirofo, Atsimo Antsinanana, and Vatovavy Fitovinany regions during 2022 and 2023. Its goal is to contribute to the implementation of the National WASH Policy by:

  • Improving water resources management to conserve, protect and optimize the use of water resources for all sectors;
  • Enabling universal access to safely managed, sustainable water supply and sanitation services; and
  • Organizing and promoting improved hygiene practices.

MCD and its partners will monitor, empower, and collaborate with local community organizations, especially groups of natural leaders, local artisans, girls, women, people living with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.

MCD's team will analyze the sustainability of program results and use the analysis to adapt and implement the WASH sustainability framework developed throughout the earlier FAA project. This framework focuses on sustainable behavioral change through community empowerment; increased access to improved infrastructure through sanitation marketing involving the private sector; increased access to affordable financing for households and entrepreneurs; and improved institutional and regulatory frameworks.

By targeting these five areas, the program will address the problem of access as well as the governance, programmatic, and social challenges.

sanitation & hygiene
unicef wash
strengthening health systems