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Sunday, 22nd March 2020

An Exciting New Partnership for the WASH Department

By Alice Witt

SEED is thrilled to announce that we have recently begun a year-long partnership with UNICEF Madagascar to promote safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) using a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach in communities across the whole of Anosy region. In a region where only 3% of people use basic sanitation facilities, 15% practice proper hygiene, and 26% use water that meets basic cleanliness levels (UNICEF 2018), SEED will be working to fill severe gaps in WASH services and knowledge to significantly improve the quality of life of people in the region.

The CLTS approach to improving sanitation practices involves ‘triggering’ communities and governments by using imagery and information that will motivate them to take ownership of their own sanitation and prompt them to construct and use latrines of their own accord. Following these sensitisation sessions, the team will offer practical skills training to local masons and craftspeople so that the sanitation facilities and products required to meet the new demand can be sustainably produced by the communities themselves.

Through individual sessions and wider media campaigns, SEED will also raise awareness of issues such as handwashing, menstrual hygiene management, and the safe storage, transportation and treatment of water across the region. Importantly, a central element of this project will be institutional capacity-building and advocacy at all levels of government for greater prioritisation of WASH across the board in rural communities.

In terms of scope, this is SEED’s biggest project to date, operating in 170 village clusters across all three Anosy districts. Reaching 189,000 people, the project will make a significant contribution towards the national Madagasikara Madio 2023 target of:

  • 90% of the population being open-defecation free
  • 90% of the population routinely washing hands with soap
  • 50% of the population having access to and using basic latrines

In order to achieve this, thirty-five new staff members have joined our WASH team and will be based in four new offices set up across the region. Twenty-four of these new members will be working as our on-the-ground WASH ‘promoters’, going into training-underway-seed-wash-promoters.jpgcommunities to lead triggering and training activities, building up community support for WASH issues and solidifying the support of local government for the project.

The last couple of weeks have seen us gathering our promoters in Fort Dauphin so that the team can meet, learn about the project’s main objectives and work through an action plan for the coming three months. The team are really animated, showing fantastic enthusiasm towards the planned project activities and predicted processes of change.

Over the coming weeks, the promoters will move out to the communes where they will be working and, with help from volunteers from each community, will be getting started with setting their action plans into motion. We can’t wait to see the leaps in water, sanitation and hygiene that rural communities across Anosy will make over the 12 months!