Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, and lack of development has resulted in widespread problems with health and sanitation, alongside malnutrition and extreme poverty. Around two thirds of the population of Madagascar still live in rural areas, and many of these people in rural communities have limited, or no, access to clean water, and around two thirds of the population still live in rural areas. Sometimes children have to walk several kilometres every day just to bring water home to their families.
For those living without clean water, diarrhoea is common and can be fatal – especially to vulnerable children. Typhoid, polio and acute respiratory infections are also all linked to poor hygiene. Illness from waterborne diseases, or significant time spent fetching clean water can result in prolonged absences from school, resulting in children failing to succeed at school and lacking important skills necessary for their future.
Can you help sponsor a water point for an isolated rural primary school in Madagascar?
The installation of a water point and sink at a school ensures children have easy and regular access to clean water, and facilitates learning about good hygiene. This can help prevent waterborne diseases, reducing child mortality rates in the area, and reducing absences from school due to sickness.
Water pumps can also be used to support vegetable gardens in the schools, providing nutritious food for school meals. Hungry children can struggle to concentrate properly, and so a vegetable garden can not only reduce malnutrition, but also improve their ability to learn. Bringing water pumps to schools can reduce the distance children have to walk to reach fresh water. This means children have more time to attend school, and are less tired, increasing their attendance and subsequent quality of education. Improving access to education for these rural communities gives children greater opportunities in the future, allowing them to build a secure, sustainable future for themselves.
Alongside this, there is potential for a wider impact on the community, and children take lessons home and promote good hygiene to the rest of the family, leading to long-term behaviour change. The establishment of a water point and sink can therefore support the children who are most vulnerable, while also having a significant positive impact on the wider community.