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Sustainability of water supply points constructed by the Madagascar Water Project (MWP) in East Madagascar

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posted on 02.11.2020, 15:33 by Tony Ranaivo
In today’s world still 1.6 million people with 90% of children under five, die every year from diarrhoeal diseases due to the lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. These diseases are now the leading cause of child death in Africa and the second leading cause of child death globally. With almost 25 million inhabitants in 2016, 85% of the population of Madagascar lives in rural areas where only 35% has access to improved drinking water sources. Dominated by subsistence agriculture, providing a livelihood for almost 80% of the population (ADF, 2005), the Malagasy economy is one of just a handful having experienced stagnation in per capita income coupled with a rise in poverty (WFP, 2016). The low coverage of drinking water and sanitation services has serious consequences on health, education and economic development. The country has the world’s fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition. According a World Bank report:
“Over half of children are chronically malnourished and more than one-fourth are severely malnourished” (WB, 2017).
It is estimated that 10,400 Malagasy, including 6.900 children under the age of five die each year as a result of diarrheal disease. It is reported that 88% of these deaths are attributable to poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
This research study focuses on the provision and sustainability of the water supply points (hand pumps) that “The Madagascar Water Project” (MWP) organisation, has installed in rural communities in the East coast region of Madagascar. Since 2012, The Madagascar Water Project has been among the only rare organisations providing water services to the local population in the area of the Canal of Pangalanes. To date, they have provided a total of 42 suction hand-pumps in 23 different localities. Examining what can be learned from the way MWP contributes to increase the number of communities with appropriate water supplies is one important focus if this research. The second aspect of the research is examining how sustainable the MWP water supply points are. Both findings will lead to recommendations to MWP and other organisation(s) willing to provide sustainable water services in rural Malagasy areas.
The aim of the report is to determine to what extent community managed and VLOM (Village Level Operation and Maintenance) technologies are appropriate for rural
communities in Pangalanes region,East Madagascar. To analyse rural water supply sustainability, various conceptual frameworks include seven fundamental dimensions:
Environmental, Financial, Technical, Institutional (organisational), Socio-cultural, Economic and Health (Parry-Jones et al., 2001). These services are undermined when the effectiveness of one or several of these parameters fails or stops to exist. These dimensions are correlated and context specific. There are only few good examples of sustainability in practice because each situation takes a different shape (Lockwood, 2002). According Carter, sustainability is compromised without a real expression of demand. The difficulty in implementing rural water supply programme resides in part that different communities have different needs, and also different capacities (Carter, 2011).



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)