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.

1,067,000 people with improved water services
2,971,000 people with improved sanitation services
800,000 people with improved hygiene practices

Partnering for healthy cities – increasing water access in Madagascar

Where we work in Madagascar


We’ve operated in Antananarivo since 2009. In this time we’ve worked closely with the national water utility and commune mayors to build over 500 community water, sanitation and hygiene structures including water kiosks, laundries and latrines. We’ve also helped strengthen the JIRAMA pipe network, supported new water production and provided technical assistance for several city-wide master plans.

Read more about our work in Antananarivo.


We started working with Mahajanga schools in 2014. This programme has developed quickly, and we’re now also supporting the national water utility to increase water supply, and working with the communities to operate water, sanitation and health infrastructure as well as developing community sanitation solutions.

Read more about our work in Mahajanga.


During 2018, we intend to extend our support to Toliara, a rapidly growing city in the southwest of Madagascar.

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)

Key activities in Madagascar

Working with the national water utility

We’re working with the national water utility JIRAMA to support and build its capacity in several ways, and our partnership enables low-income communities 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.

Read more about our work building the capacity of service providers.

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.

Read more about our work building stronger enabling environments.

Supporting community-operated water kiosks

Community-managed water kiosks in low-income communities enable residents to buy convenient, safe and affordable water, and some communities have been successful in using their profits to build more kiosks. We provide support by mobilising the community to establish a water user group, liaise with JIMRAMA, and negotiate contracts with the local mayor’s office.

Read more about our work in communities.

Improving access to water and sanitation services

We’re working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Coca Cola Foundation (TCCF), through their Water and Development Alliance (WADA) global partnership, to improve access to safe water and sanitation services for 450,000 people in three of Madagascar’s major urban centres – Antananarivo, Mahajanga, and Toliara.

Read more about the launch of this new programme,

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