We need your help to improve health in the rural village of Ambalahonko, Madagascar, by raising funds for the construction of their first ever toilet facility. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is poor in Madagascar, especially in rural areas
, where only 29% of families use improved drinking water sources, and only 11% use adequate sanitation facilities.This is the case for the village of Ambalahonko, on the island of Nosy Be, Madagascar
, where I have been living for the last two months. The village, with approximately 100 residents (including 60 children), has no toilets. Villagers must use the mangrove forest, where the children also bathe and play, as a toilet.
This increases their exposure to waterborne diseases and parasites, especially as water levels rise, carrying waste into the village to surround many of the houses. Growing used to this from a young age, children are unaware of the need to change their habits and there is no alternative for parents to teach. Villagers rarely access running water to wash hands after going to the toilet, or must use the communal bassin
(shown below). This tap and trough was built over 20 years ago and now drainage is slow. Stagnant water sits there throughout each day, despite frequent use for washing clothes, bodies, pots and pans and even cleaning after going to the toilet. This multi-use of the bassin actually increases the risk of diseases, such as Typhoid Fever, which is spread by transferring urine and faeces to eyes or mouth, either directly or by contaminating food and communal water.However, with your help, this can be easily prevented.
Throughout my time in Ambalahonko I have learnt that most individuals do have an understanding of the health issues facing the village and would like to improve the current facilities, but have no way of raising the money to do so. This project is not just a lump-sum gift for the village, but a sustainable, long-term initiative to empower the community. Working together with the local community we have designed a new toilet block
, and a strategy to implement construction and manage sustainability for up to 30 years. The block will house both toilets and showers, with a tap outside to allow villagers to wash their hands immediately after use. With your support, we can provide the start-up costs for this, which would otherwise remain impossible for the community to achieve. The villagers are actively invested in the project; construction and ongoing management of the facilities will be the responsibility of a village association.We are aiming to complete construction in November, so we need your support now!
Work must be completed before the rainy season (November to April) becomes too intense.Please get in touch if you have any further questions about the project, and please give whatever you can to the cause!