Medair Medair



92% of people in Madagascar live on less than $2 a day.
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Madagascar is one of the world’s most beautiful places yet it is the third most vulnerable country to natural disasters after Bangladesh and India. Frequent cyclones and tropical storms batter the island nation, leaving widespread devastation that impedes the development of this impoverished population. We provide emergency relief when cyclones strike, and during the rest of the year, we help communities gain access to safe drinking water and help establish disaster mitigation activities so that future cyclones cause less damage.

Medair started working in Madagascar in 2002.

Source: WHO 2012 (PPP int. $)
Where We Help
All of Madagascar

When cyclones strike, Medair is prepared to respond to emergencies across the island.

Analanjirofo (Maroantsetra and Mananara districts)

Villages in Analanjirofo region, in northeast Madagascar, are frequently bombarded by cyclones and floods from heavy rains. Constant rebuilding from damages has made it difficult for communities to make forward progress. However, Medair has focused its efforts in this region for several years and the results are starting to pay off.

Our Projects
Safe Drinking Water and Latrines  image
Safe Drinking Water and Latrines

Medair is helping nine rural communes (groups of villages) in Analanjirofo gain improved access to safe drinking water and latrines through partnerships that require community participation. We are also helping improve latrine access in urban Maroantsetra. In addition to water points and latrines, Medair provides training and guidance to communities including Water Users Associations, because our utmost desire is to encourage a strong sense of ownership that helps ensure that residents maintain the infrastructure well enough to pass it onto the next generation. Our activities might include:

  • Building elevated water points, gravity-fed water systems, and latrines
  • Encouraging and facilitating households to build their own latrines.
  • Providing water pumps and technical support
  • Establishing Water Users Associations and providing guidance
  • Training pump mechanics
  • Promoting hygiene benefits such as hand washing

"Thanks to you, we have a lot of infrastructure that will change lives. Before using Medair, we did not manage or maintain the infrastructure we had.”

- Chief Rakotozafy, Ambodimandrorofo Village

Standing to Face the Cyclone image
Standing to Face the Cyclone

Medair continues to strengthen communities so that they are better prepared to face cyclones. Our disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities include:

  • Establishing early warning systems
  • Assisting communities as they operate and maintain large refuge shelters
  • Providing elevated water points and latrines
  • Training builders in cyclone-resistant construction techniques
  • Using workshops and creative learning methods (film, puppet shows, simulations, radio, board games) to educate communities on how to respond when a cyclone hits

 “Today, we have hope for the future. We dare to stand and face the cyclone. We are a winner and Medair has played a big part in that.” 

- Jean Chretien, Village Chief, Ankadibe 

Cyclone and Flooding Response   image
Cyclone and Flooding Response

During cyclone season, Medair provides swift relief to communities hit by cyclones and tropical storms. Emergency responses might involve:

  • Disinfecting wells
  • Distributing WASH kits (buckets, chlorine solution, cups, and soap)
  • Promoting hygiene to protect against illness
  • Delivering cash distributions to help families repair homes and overcome food scarcity

  • Even Puppets Wash Their Hands 15 October 2014
    It’s a rainy, foggy morning on the river in Madagascar, but the boats are packed with precious cargo that shouldn’t get wet. A village is waiting in anticipation, and… the …
  • Madagascar: Laying the Groundwork of a Life-Changing Safe Water Project 24 June 2014
    In some of the most rural villages in northeast Madagascar, Medair has recently completed training seven local enterprises in simple drilling and construction techniques that are …
  • Taking the Time to Listen 07 March 2014
    Medair completes the first phase of a long-term project in Madagascar that will bring safe drinking water to more than 125,000 people. Make no mistake, behind the rice paddies, …

Core Activities

  • Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene icon

    Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

    WASH saves lives by stopping the spread of disease. In a crisis, few things are more important than safe water, sanitary latrines, and good hygiene.
  • Shelter and Infrastructure icon

    Shelter and Infrastructure

    Safe shelter is at the very core of human survival and dignity. Infrastructure like roads, bridges, schools, and clinics help communities recover from crisis and build a better future.

Click here to download the fact sheet for our programme in Madagascar