The Government of Madagascar and the World Bank signed the recently approved $220 million National Water Project. The project seeks to increase access to water services in the Greater Antananarivo area and selected secondary towns, and to improve the performance of the water and energy utility (JIRAMA).
As Madagascar has beenhit by successive cyclones and tropical storms early this year, funding for this project is provided entirely through the IDA Crisis Response Window (CRW). The financing will also support post-cyclone reconstruction and will improve the resilience of infrastructure and the preparedness of water institutions. The signing ceremony was presided over by the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina.
"The Malagasy government has made improved access to drinking water in the country a high priority. This project is aligned with our development vision and will allow us to secure water production and supply in Antananarivo and other cities,” declared Andry Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar. “We are grateful to the World Bank that has once again demonstrated its willingness to support us in meeting the numerous challenges we face towards developing Madagascar.”
Access to basic water and sanitation services in Madagascar suffers from severe inequalities and low-quality services. Only 54.4%of the population has access to basic water services, and only 12.3% of the population has access to basic sanitation services. Madagascar is at the bottom of the list of 76 developing countries with the lowest access to basic sanitation.
This project will be key to reducing the exposure to unsafe drinking water and improving sanitation facilities
“Madagascar is facing a water crisis given its extreme vulnerability to climate variability impacts and weather shocks as evidenced by the recent cyclones. This project will be key to reducing the exposure to unsafe drinking water and improving sanitation facilities and hygiene in the country,” said Marie-Chantal Uwanyiligira, World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar. “This project will also support JIRAMA’s governance improvement plan as these hard urban investments can only be effective if the reform program to improve JIRAMA's financial viability is implemented.”
This project will combine infrastructure investments and institutional development to address sector challenges around water resources and water services, while addressing the resilient recovery needs emerging from the impact of the cyclones. The project will thus seek to improve and secure water production in Greater Antananarivo through support to JIRAMA in meeting the growing water production gap in the face of increasing demand. Raw water production for Greater Antananarivo will be increased by 40,800 m3/day (a 20%increase) and water losses will be reduced through a distribution network renewal program.
The project will also aim at improving water supply services in Greater Antananarivo and secondary towns (Antsiranana, Mahajanga, Antsirabe, Fianarantsoa, and Manakara) by supporting JIRAMA and the Ministry of Water and Sanitation (MEAH) to improve and extendn water supply services. This component will be transformational for women and girls through the provision of water at home and a safe, female-friendly sanitation solution in schools. An ambitious social connection program targeting the poorest and most vulnerable customers will be carried out in selected underserved areas to support households to connect to the network. The National Water Project will also support post-cyclone reconstruction and improve the resilience of water infrastructure as well as the preparedness of water institutions in the regions of Vatovavy, Fitovinany, Haute-Matsiatra, Amoron’i Mania, and Vakinankaratra.
The project will directly provide improved water services to 625,000 people, including 460,000 among the most vulnerable through the social connections program, whose water expenses will be reduced. A total of 115,000 students and 70 health centers will benefit from improved WASH services. More broadly, the entire population of Greater Antananarivo and targeted secondary towns consisting of about 3.4 million people, will benefit from more resilient water services, better availability of these services, and better protection against extreme weather events (drought or floods). This includes 425,000 people from the regions most affected by the cyclones.