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Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

Madagascar ranks third lowest in the world in the use of unimproved water sources (such as unprotected wells, springs, and surface water) and basic sanitation.1 This is compounded by one of the world’s highest poverty rates: in the Deep South, which includes the Anosy region where SEED works, an estimated 91% of the population lives below the global poverty line.2 Madagascar is far from achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 of ensuring access to water and sanitation for all, as only 51% of the population has access to basic water services and only 10% to basic sanitation services.3 This impacts children in particular, as 88% of public primary schools do not have access to WASH infrastructure.4 Poor WASH conditions can cause diarrhoeal diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever, with the such illnesses being the fourth leading cause of death in Malagasy children under the age of five.5

The dire state of WASH provision in Madagascar is exemplified in the Anosy region, where high rates of illness and mortality are attributed to water-related diseases. Only 26% of the population has access to basic water services, 3% to basic sanitation services, and 6% to basic hygiene services.6

SEED has been implementing WASH projects in rural and urban areas of Anosy for over 20 years, working with households, communities, schools, and health centres. Initiatives have included addressing access to safe water, the provision of improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education.

In recent years, SEED has implemented an adapted community-led total sanitation (CLTS) approach through Project Malio, which promoted positive WASH behaviour in order to reduce open defecation in the town of Fort Dauphin. Additionally, in 2020 SEED partnered with UNICEF Madagascar to improve WASH knowledge, attitudes, and practices as well as sustainably increase access to safe WASH facilities for over 190,000 community members in rural Anosy. Other WASH projects have included Project Tatirano, which worked to improve access to clean drinking water via rainwater harvesting, Project Fatsaka, a community well management initiative, and a COVID-19 Response.

The vision of SEED’s WASH team is:

People lead healthy and dignified lives through safe water, sanitation, and hygiene for everyone in Madagascar.

Our mission is:

To improve access to and usage of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities, resources, and knowledge for urban and rural communities in southeast Madagascar through infrastructure-provision, education, and capacity-building.

Current projects

Sekoly Programme thumbnail

Programme Sekoly

Tackling the severe educational infrastructure underdevelopment in Madagascar, and preventing illnesses from poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions.

Programme Sekoly

Completed projects

Handwashing training in rural Madagascar as part of our CLTS project

Rural WASH

Partnering with UNICEF Madagascar to eliminate open defecation, improve hygiene practices, and ensure access to clean water.

Face masks distributed to help protect against Coronavirus

COVID-19 Response

Working to prevent and control the spread of Coronavirus in the Anosy region of Madagascar.

COVID-19 Response
Tatirano thumbnail


A rainwater harvesting project providing clean water at the home

Project Tatirano
Children carrying buckets of water in Madagascar


A 3-year sanitation project in Fort Dauphin, aiming to reduce open defecation, encourage latrine use and improve sanitation practices across town.

Project Malio
Children taking part in a community activity


A management and maintenance training programme for rural communities to help them look after their wells and retain access to clean drinking water in the long term.

Project Fatsaka


  1. UNICEF, (2022). Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. Available at:

  2. Amnesty International, (2021). Madagascar: It will be too late to help use once we are dead: The human rights impact of climate change in drought-stricken southern Madagascar. Available at:

  3. WHO & UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, (2017). Progress on Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2017 Update and SDG Baselines. Available at:

  4. UNICEF, (2017). Madagascar WASH Investment Case: Executive Summary. Available at:

  5. World Bank, (2023). Mortality Rate under-5 (per 1,000 live births) – Madagascar Data. Available at:

  6. INSTAT & UNICEF, (2018). Multiple indicator cluster survey 6: Madagascar eau de boisson, assainissment et hygiene. Available at: