Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and hosts one of the richest environments for plant and animal species, yet it is one of the poorest environments for its people. Over 80% of the population live below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day. Of greatest impact, only 34% of rural Malagasy people have access to safe drinking water.
Ongoing Project: Ambalona
Our group of volunteers has been working in Madagascar since 2008 with the village of Ambalona. This village had no clean drinking water until EWB Denver Chapter and Hope for Madagascar stepped in to help. Now, Ambalona has a system of wells that provide the necessary water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. During a follow-up trip in November 2015, our team checked in with Ambalona to ensure that the wells were operating properly and having the desired effect on the community. It was clear that the residents of Ambalona were using the wells extensively and experiencing markedly better health. This leads us to where we stand now – wanting to help the nearby community of Anosimparihy in the same way that we helped Ambalona.
Current Need: Anosimparihy
Anosimparihy is an agrarian village of more than 2,500 people located approximately 45 minutes from Ambalona. At this time, the villagers’ primary water source is a nearby river filled with water-borne diseases. The poor water quality impacts health and leads to dehydration, diarrhea, dysentery, and even death, especially in children.
The EWB Response
In November 2015, EWB performed an assessment of Anosimparihy’s needs and explored possible means to provide water. While a number of options were considered, it was determined that the best solution is a system of wells similar to the one implemented in Ambalona. The team hopes to install 8-12 hand-pumped wells and establish trained and available maintenance personnel within the village. Below is a slideshow of photos from the 2015 trip to both villages.
For the upcoming project in Anosimparihy, EWB will continue to work with Hope for Madagascar, as well as the contractors and other in-country partners who worked with us in Ambalona. Additionally, our team has set up an agreement with the Rotary Club of Manakara, Madagascar to join in.
The current focus of the project is on fundraising and seeking partner organizations within the United States and Colorado. These partners are essential to supporting the costs of travel, equipment, and personnel, and contributing to additional aspects of the project, such as community education.
The EWB Denver Chapter is committed to developing a sustainable approach to get clean water to Anosimparihy. With our demonstrated success in Ambalona, we have the experience and knowledge to achieve this goal. With additional funding, we can continue to move forward, allowing everyone in the village to have access to the most vital, yet sometimes taken for granted, resource for life – safe water.
Total Project Cost (Anosimparihy): $50,000 +
Funds Still Needed: $49,000 +
How to Help
What can $100 buy for your team?
A donation of $100 can pay for a site visit from our in-country partner, Hope for Madagascar (www.hopeformadagascar.com), which will provide the project team with vital information regarding the villages’ ongoing needs and use of the wells.
Volunteer Skills Needed
A wide range of skills are useful to the project. Communication, marketing, and financial skills are useful for fundraising and budget management. Engineering, hydrology, geology, geochemistry, and water treatment are all fields of expertise directly relevant to the project. Additionally, volunteers with French or Malagasy language skills are very helpful to the project. Anyone with a desire to help is always welcome to join our project.
John Abrams (Project Lead):