Madagascar: Vulnerable people improving sanitation facilities for them


By Hoby Randrianimanana and Bakoarintsoa Randimbison

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar -  Jean Ramaroson, a retired doctor, lives in a village of Madagascar’s Betsiboka region. A few years ago, he went blind due to diabetes and has been reliant on other people for most activities ever since. As a former professional, he finds the loss of independence painful.

Until recently, Dr Ramaroson’s family latrine was functional but not accessible to him without someone else’s help.

Our partner in the area, the AJEMA Implementation Agency, sent a team to his village in 2019 to run a session with potentially disadvantaged people from the community to ask their opinions on making improvements to their sanitation and hygiene services.

Dr Ramaroson explained to the facilitators that because of his blindness, he has to rely on someone to guide him to the latrine. When there is no one at home to help, he has to use a chamber pot inside the house.

After discussion with the AJEMA team, Dr Ramaroson came up with his own solution to improve the accessibility of his family’s latrine and regain some independence. He told the facilitator to come back in a week to see his creation.

When the AJEMA team returned a week later, he showed them a rope that led from the door of the hose to the latrine, which he used as a guide. Now, Dr Ramaroson can use the latrine at any time without depending on other people.

“I am satisfied, I have regained my privacy, I no longer need to talk to anyone when I want to do my needs and, above all, I have taken a burden off my loved ones and especially my wife. I have become independent again,” says Dr Ramaroson.