Nearly half the population of Madagascar lives in severe poverty.

The number of people in urban areas is growing at around twice the rate of the rest of the world, compounding challenges already caused by a lack of sufficient water and sanitation services.

Two thirds of people in the capital Antananarivo live in informal settlements, none of the city’s waste is treated effectively and only a small area has sewers. This has a huge impact on the health, safety and dignity of those living in low-income communities.

Nationally, at least a quarter of all deaths of children under five in urban areas are caused by water-related diseases.

What are we doing to help?

We have formed long-term partnerships with the national water utility, the national government and local communities to create innovative, affordable and financially viable water and sanitation services.

1.16m people with improved water services
1.35m people with improved sanitation services
2.83m people who have received hygiene training
18m additional funds unlocked from other sources

Partnering for healthy cities – increasing water access in Madagascar

Where we work in Madagascar

Key activities in Madagascar

Water and Development Alliance partnership

WSUP is implementing a major urban water and sanitation project under the Water & Development Alliance, a partnership between USAID and The Coca Cola Foundation.

The project will benefit more than 450,000 people in the cities of Antananarivo, Mahajanga, and Toliara, with a particularfocus on building the capacity of national institutions and local communities to effectively deliver and manage water and sanitation services.

Video: June 2019 – The Leak Squad: preserving Antananarivo’s most precious resource

Blog: April 2018 – Improving access to water and sanitation services for 450,000 Malagasy people

Improving access to water 

We’re working with the national water utility JIRAMA to support and build its capacity in several ways, and our partnership enables residents in informal settlements to have access to safe, reliable and affordable water. We support JIRAMA by investing in schemes which provide additional water supply, help it manage its pipe network better, and provide targeted support to its low-income community unit.

We help local communities establish water user groups, liaise with JIRAMA, and agree delegated management contracts with the Commune office so that they can benefit from improved water supply.

Blog: Oct 2017 – Partnering for healthier cities – increasing water access in Madagascar

Strengthening sanitation and hygiene practices in institutions

We’ve helped encourage stronger hygiene and sanitation practices at public institutions, including schools, by helping develop a certification process which has inspired them to improve their systems. We’re also working with head teachers and education leaders so their institutions can achieve the necessary criteria.

Blog: May 2018 – Empowering adolescent girls through user-centred design

Improving unsewered sanitation services

We are improving unsewered sanitation services by introducing new sanitation products to the market, strengthening the supply chain, emptying services and ensuring that the waste is safely disposed of, as well as building decentralized treatment sites which produce biogas.

Thanks to WSUP, JIRAMA has been able to stabilise operations and increase water supply to low-income communities in two major cities in Madagascar: Antananarivo and Mahajanga.

Henri Ravalisoa, Former Deputy Director General for WaterJIRAMA (national utility in Madagascar)

To find out how you can support our work in Madagascar, please contact us at or call us on +44 (0)20 7822 1867.