In the villages of Tsarafangitra and Marovintsika Fokontanys in Madagascar, families, schools, health centres, have no access to clean water. In Tsarafangitra, the nearest dirty water source is more than 1.5 kilometres away.

This central water source is where everyone in the community gets their water. Water for drinking, washing, cooking, water for everything. It’s not clean or cold, and the nearby ponds are brown and swampy.

Here we share the story of  Tsarafangitra and how community members are contributing to lasting change for their community.

Raoly is a 24-year old mother from the village. We first met her when WaterAid’s Athlete Ambassador, Adam van Koeverden helped to carry her water during his visit to Madagascar. At the time, she was 8-months pregnant with her third child and had to walk 4 or 5 times a day to the murky spring to collect water.

Olympic kayaker, Adam van Koeverden visited WaterAid communities in Madagascar in November 2016. WaterAid/Ernest Randrarimalala

Thanks to Aveda Canada, that is all about to change. As a result of their incredible support, WaterAid is working to provide 100%  access, to clean water in the rural municipalities of Sabotsy Anjiro and Belavabary.

Now into the second year of the program, committees have been set up in 12 villages in Belavabary and three villages in Sabotsy Anjiro. These local committees are organizing and planning for the implementation phase of the project. Both Tsarafangitra and Marovintsika fokontany in Belavabary have completed plans for their contribution to the project and work is underway.

Just a few weeks ago, community members in Tsarafangitra began digging the trenches needed to lay the 14 kilometres of pipe that will bring water to their village using a gravity-flow water system.

Women from Tsarafangitra village working together to excavate the trench for a pipeline connection. WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala

Community members are enthusiastic and motivated even though they must excavate a trench that will cross hills, valleys, bushes, rocks and rice fields.

Community members dig a trench across a rice field. WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

Raoly is working alongside fellow community members:  “Excavating 14 km of trench is pretty tough but I am so happy and motivated as I can’t wait to turn on the tap.”

Raoly, a 24-year-old mother from Tsarafangitra village, WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

Community involvement is integral part of the success of the project. By participating in planning and implementation, community members develop ownership for the project, share their local perspectives and learn how to care for the infrastructure so that it is sustainable.

Together with our partner, Aveda Canada, we’re making progress toward our goal of providing water, toilets and hygiene to every school, every health clinic and every village in Belavabary and Sabotsy Anjiro, Madagascar reaching 20,000 children, women and men. With clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene, families can be healthier and reach their full potential.