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December 5, 2019

World Toilet Day 2019: Leaving No One Behind

The Mayor of Sahamatevina commemorates World Toilet Day 2019 and local technicians demonstrate the latrines.

By Bakoarintsoa Randimbison, Aimé Randriamanalina, Emmanuel Virgino, Matthew S. Lynch

“An ideal village,” Mahatma Gandhi responded to a Birbhum, India, villager in 1937, “will be so constructed as to lend itself to perfect sanitation.”

Eight decades later, millions of people still struggle with considerable sanitation challenges and MCDI has worked tirelessly to reduce this alarming number. Through our community-led total sanitation projects in Benin and Madagascar, we empower rural communities to take control of their sanitation and hygiene practices to become ideal communities.

The progress made through the Fonds d'Appui pour l'Assainissement (FAA) program in Madagascar managed by MCDI has been astounding, and in fact, a testament to our efforts manifested two weeks ago in Sahamatevina during the community’s World Toilet Day celebration.

Sahamatevina’s Mayor began this year’s commemoration by recounting the community’s palpable efforts in sanitation and hygiene. By the time of his speech, more than half of the surrounding Fokontany (agglomerations of villages or communities) are maintaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.

Next, local technicians unveiled their efforts to update the community’s sanitation services. A representative of the Natural Leaders lauded local technicians who – in their innovative designs for latrines – adhered to this year’s theme of “leaving no one behind” by ensuring latrines were accessible to persons with disabilities. While commending their efforts, she reminded the community of the work that lies ahead in securing consistent access to safely managed sanitation services.

“Sanitation,” Gandhi said in 1947, “is more important than political independence,” and like in political independence, success in sanitation is hard-fought. We look forward to Sahamatevina’s continued progress in sanitation and hygiene as well as similar celebrations in even more countries over the years to come.

Bakoarintsoa Randimbison is the Communications Officer for MCDI in Madagascar.
Aimé Randriamanalina is in charge of Communication and Knowledge Management Strategy for MCDI in Madagascar.
Matthew S. Lynch is the Assistant Communications Officer for MCDI in the US.

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