Let it Flow: Improving Water Access in Madagascar

Monday, January 28, 2019
From left to right: Florine, Victorine and Théodore donated land in support of the USAID/Coca-Cola Foundation WADA project
Photo: Bruno Rasamoel

Theodore Ravanomanana and his two sisters, Victorine Ravaomalala and Florine Rahantavololona, live in Alasora, a suburb of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital city. They share a house that used to belong to their parents. And they also jointly own a small plot of land nearby that has remained unused for a long time, and is covered with unkempt grass and wild vegetation.

At least three times a day, one of them goes to fetch water from an old water point located 500 meters from their home. It’s an unpopular chore, time consuming and tiring, particularly so because Theodore and his sisters are all on the far side of 50.

Recently, representatives of the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) partnership between USAID and the Coca-Cola Foundation came calling. Alasora had been chosen to receive a new water access point - but the project needed a place to build it. Theodore and his sisters graciously offered their unused, overgrown bit of land for the new water kiosk.

The WADA Madagascar project is improving access to safe water and sanitation services for hundreds of thousands of people in three of Madagascar’s major cities. The project is implemented by the nonprofit organization Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), together with other partners and donors.

Alasora’s mayor, Marc Ramiarinjatovo, is working closely with the WADA Madagascar team to represent the interests of his community. He says the WADA project is timely because Alasora’s existing water infrastructure no longer met the populations’ needs. “We have waited for so long for this WADA project in our area, because demand can no longer keep pace with the supply,” says Ramiarinjatovo. The community’s old water points were run-down or no longer working and couldn’t keep up with Alasora’s growing population.

There was also a water-supply issue. The processing unit operated by the Malagasy national water and power utility Jiro sy Rano Malagasy (JIRAMA) was working at just over 50 percent capacity, due to missing and broken equipment. So, WADA Madagascar is also working with JIRAMA, providing additional water pumps and upgrading electrical equipment in order to boost production. This additional water will benefit Alasora and other nearby communities.

JIRAMA water processing plant
This JIRAMA water processing plant provides water for the Alasora community and surrounding neighborhoods
Photo: Bruno Rasamoel


Mayor Ramiarinjatovo is more than satisfied with the WADA project’s progress. Smiling, he says, “I am happy to see the donors working together to increase access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

Theodore and his two sisters look forward to the water kiosk being completed, so they and their neighbors will soon have drinking water available close by. “We were motivated to contribute,” says Theodore, “and do our part for the project and for the good of the community.”

Alasora's Mayor with WADA project staff
Alasora's Mayor (center in suit and tie) meets with WADA project staff
Photo: Bruno Rasamoel

Last updated: September 17, 2020

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