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June 5, 2017

A Woman with a Strong Desire to Sustainably Clean Up Her Village


The village of Ambatoroka in Madagascar is home to 13 houses, 28 families and 161 inhabitants. In Ambatoroka, open defecation is a common practice. MCDI’s Fonds d'Appui pour l'Assainissement (FAA) program, funded by the Global Sanitation Fund, uses a Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to encourage villages to self-motivate to end open defecation.

Despite an initial triggering session in Ambatoroka, open defecation continued. As an additional measure, the community completed of a Follow-up Mandona (FuM) session, which is an approach that facilitates community decision-making to use improved sanitation. Following this session, the village has accelerated on their path towards achieving open defecation free (ODF) status.

Lydia Razafimiadana, a resident of the Ambatoroka village, is committed to sanitation and hygiene following the FuM session organized by MCDI’s local partner NGO, Miarintsoa. She took seriously the small, feasible actions her village could take to improve latrine quality. After an hour and a half of FuM with the community of Ambatoroka, which included installing latrines in areas previously used for open defecation and repairing existing latrines to eliminate flies, the village’s hygiene had already been significantly improved. Lydia was convinced by this session to eliminate open defecation in her community, saying, "I did not know that it is possible to make a village open defecation free in an hour and a half."

Since the FuM visit, she has continued to encourage the members of her community to keep the village clean. At every parents’ meeting at the school where she teaches, she encourages parents to have a clean latrine and to maintain healthy habits, such as washing hands with soap or ashes.

One day, Razafimiadana suggested to the parents to build a new latrine for the school because it had collapsed, but there was little motivation. At the next meeting she recounted the necessity for a latrine at the school and the severe repercussions of lack of sanitary facilities for their children, finally triggering change. On the next Saturday following the meeting, parents began the construction of a new school latrine.

Now, the residents of Ambatoroka devote two hours towards community sanitation every third Saturday of the month, which includes maintaining the latrines and cleaning their streets. Razafimiadana has made a concrete difference in the health of her community, and the residents of the village are now proud to live in a healthy environment.

Photo: Mrs. Razafimiadana attends the construction of the school latrine provided by the parents of students of the Public School of Ambatoroka village, Ambohimihaonana Ambatolampy Commune, in the Highlands of Madagascar.

Written by Bakoarintsoa Randimbison, FAA Communications Officer





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