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.

1.08m people with improved water services
1.3m people with improved sanitation services
2.75m people who have received hygiene training
17m additional investment unlocked from other sources

Partnering for healthy cities – increasing water access in Madagascar

Where we work in Madagascar

Key activities in Madagascar

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 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.

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 savings to build more kiosks. We provide support by mobilising the community to establish a water user group, liaise with JIRAMA, and agree delegated management contracts with the Commune office.

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

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.