ANTANANARIVO – The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have introduced a new water management model to deliver efficient and reliable water sources to homes across Madagascar. Access to safe water will improve the health and wellbeing of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.
Since 2017, the USAID Rural Access to New Opportunities in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (RANO WASH) project has introduced innovative and ambitious public-private systems that have improved access to quality water services for Malagasy people living in hundreds of small towns and villages across Madagascar.
At May 25 ceremony, USAID Mission Director Anne N. Williams joined Madagascar’s Minister of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fidiniavo Ravokatra to mark the completion of the 30 million USD project. They agreed that RANO WASH’s successful model harnessing the private sector could be scaled up to address the needs of more communes while providing tax revenue to local governments and easing administrative burdens through contracts with private water firms.
“RANO WASH partnerships hold the potential for universal access to clean water in Madagascar,” Williams said at the ceremony. “This has tremendous implications for Madagascar’s health system in terms of greatly reducing the risk of preventable diseases and malnutrition.”
Nearly 700,000 people in 250 communes across seven regions have benefited from RANO WASH, a number expected to grow considerably as additional communities embrace the new and effective management model.
Under the RANO WASH model, participating water experts assess costs and project revenues, collect fees, install home- or compound-based water systems for subscribers, and upgrade sanitation facilities at competitive prices. Fees are higher, but within the means of most rural families, and worth the investments. Portions of revenues generated by subscriptions revert to local government through taxes.
Like “Mpirahalahy Mianala,” the United States stands side by side with the people of Madagascar to help ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all, and to promote good hygiene. In 2021, the U.S. government invested $86 million in Madagascar’s health system, and USAID support for the WASH sector will continue and intensify in the coming years through other new projects.