ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar – Earlier in May, Clara Rudholm, East and Southern Africa Regional Manager for WSSCC and its partners in Madagascar spoke with Honorable Vonjy Andriamanga, Minister of Energy, Water and Hydrocarbons to discuss the new initiative that the minister has been advocating, expectations about eliminating open defecation in the country, and the partnership with WSSCC.
WSSCC: You are proposing a new idea called “the WASH All in One.” Can you summarize the initiative?
MINISTER ANDRIAMANGA: Actually, the idea is simple. What we all need to know is that, if we develop water in a village without sanitation, that will generate other problems. If we develop sanitation and there is no potable water in the village, it will also bring issues for the maintenance of sanitation in the village. Therefore, the idea of WASH All in One is to come to the level of a village and develop of course water supply, but in parallel and at the same time, sanitation and hygiene. That is how the triggering of a village will be complete. And then, we will be able to move the whole village to WASH 100 percent, i.e. WASH All in One.
WSSCC: Why is it important to combine water and sanitation in your approach?
MINISTER: This is simple. If we want to manage this approach of WASH All in One, we must be able to coordinate it. And the coordination that we want to put in place in Madagascar is a two-level coordination. Firstly, a coordination at the national level, together with the national level entities, like WSSCC, but also a coordination at the regional level. Because at the national level, the amplitude of the task is too important, and we cannot lead properly all activities in each region.
Madagascar has 22 regions, it is very scattered, and we need to have this coordination at the regional level too. So, if we want to put in place the WASH All in One approach, we need to have the regional coordination to take care not only of water supply, but also of sanitation and hygiene. And this is the link among these whole three sectors that will make the population develop, become cleaner – if we may say – and will be able to pass through the other steps of human development.
WSSCC: You have traveled with WSSCC partners to see their concrete activities on the ground to fight against open defecation. How was the field visit and what did you think about the interventions?
MINISTER: Listen, all I can say is that I was surprised. I am extremely impressed by the results of projects and actions achieved so far in the field. I visited a very remote village where WSSCC carried out a project, and I was impressed by the sanitation projects done locally. And it gave me an idea that I am now trying to promote: to act so that the region that I visited with WSSCC and other technical and financial partners becomes the first region in Madagascar to be 100% fully ODF certified. And I hope and believe that we will take up this challenge together to make of that region a 100% ODF approved region, as of 2020. And this is what I am now proposing to all technical and financial partners, to WSSCC: let’s go together and lead that battle of putting in place all actions, so that all Malagasy population is 100% ODF as expected in the program Madagascar ODF 2025.
WSSCC: In your opinion, what would be WSSCC’s strengths and what kind of role do you expect WSSCC to play in Madagascar?
MINISTER: What I saw in the field, and what I saw during exchanges with WSSCC people too, is that there is a real experience, a proven competence in terms of sanitation and hygiene. It is a reference in Madagascar in terms of sanitation and hygiene, and this is why many technical and financial partners joined for that visit in the field: to see how WSSCC carries on its actions practically/concretely in the field. That is the strong point (of WSSCC) I would highlight.
Then my request within the frame of the Wash All in One approach, is that WSSCC also orientates itself and opens its spectrum of skillset towards water supply too. I think it is necessary because we want to treat the whole problem: this is a long-term work in Madagascar. We have to work another 10 years in order to have the whole Malagasy population 100% Wash; and during those 10 years, we need great partners like WSSCC to achieve with us, next to the government, all the required actions to put in place projects 100% wash. And for that, WSSCC also must take part in the supply of potable water.