By Hiro Saito
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar – Sanitation professionals at the WSSCC-supported executing agency in Madagascar are awarded the medals of honor on 24 May in recognition of their ongoing effort to fight against open defecation for the past nine years.
Presiding over the award ceremony at the Hotel Astauria Antanimena, Ms. Madeleine Ramaholimiaso, Grand Chancellor of Madagascar, recognized 11 executives at the Fonds d’Appui pour l’Assainissement (FAA), or Sanitation Support Fund, and the FAA Coordination Mechanism for their effective involvement and professional commitment in the movement against open defecation throughout the country.
“They were very dedicated to sanitizing the country. The mission to sanitize – to fight against open defecation – requires a lot of dedication and they do it wholeheartedly,” said Ms. Ramaholimiaso.
Out of the 11 recipients, one member was raised to the rank of Grand Officer of the National Order. Three of them to the rank of Officers and seven to Knights.
“It really is a great honor. It empowers us to do more efforts, to search solutions on how to always improve human dignity in the field of open defecation,” said Mr. Roger Mahazoasy, Director of Decentralized Cooperation at the Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization, who was decorated with the rank of Grand Officer.
“We know that still many people defecate in the open. We will conjugate the efforts with other sectors, other participants, other partners. Otherwise, this medal would not have its value,” Mr. Mahazoasy said.
As one of the leading programmes in Madagascar’s WASH sector, the FAA works in 21 regions out of 22 across the country through 18 implementing partners, reaching out to 10.9 million people. As of December 2018, more than 17,000 villages are declared open defecation free and 2.12 million people live in ODF environments. 3.74 million people use improved latrines.
The FAA has been employing the “Community-Led Total Sanitation” approach, which is centered around behavior change and empowerment of the community without external intervention to enable communities to take ownership of their decisions and actions.
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