Around the world, women and girls spend 200 million hours collecting water. That’s less time spent in school, being with friends and family, or working for pay. That’s why S’well has supported UNICEF since 2015, committing $1.6 million to help more children grow up in a safe and clean environment to survive and thrive! With support from partners like S’well, UNICEF has helped more than 685,000 people in Madagascar gain access to safe and sustainable water sources from 2015–2018.
Andrianarisoa Nambinina runs a health center in the southern region of Madagascar, which has the lowest water coverage in the country and has suffered from frequent devastating droughts. UNICEF and the Government of Madagascar built a new 180-kilometer-long pipeline in 2019 to deliver safe water to more than 40,000 people- including Andrianarisoa. Her colleagues can now spend less time searching for unsafe water in the community, and more time on the needs of her patients.
In the rural town of Imanja, Madagascar, open defecation was a common practice for children like 12-year Sekely . One of the biggest challenges to ending open defecation is not just providing clean and safe toilets, but changing the behavior of the entire community. UNICEF implemented trainings for the Community Chief and the village elders through a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) program. Following the construction of new toilets and continued trainings for children at schools, Imanja has been declared Open-Defecation Free. For Sekely, improved sanitation means less time getting sick, and more time growing up in a safe and clean environment.
Handwashing with soap and water is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease. In Madagascar, 3.5 million school days are lost each year due to illnesses related to poor hygiene practices and lack of WASH infrastructure. UNICEF implemented the Star Approach in schools to improve the health of students. In 2017 and 2019, good hygiene habits were taught at 64 primary schools to develop the use of safe drinking water, regular hand washing with soap and the use of latrines. For students at schools like Sahavola preschool, that means less time missing class, and more time learning!
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