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Global Handwashing Day in Madagascar

Location: Tuléar, Madagascar
Participants: 1,400
 Diorano WASH Coalition

On October 17th, 2014, Madagascar put on a huge effort to promote handwashing with soap in their country. Global Handwashing Day stresses the importance of fighting diarrhoea; as washing with soap can cut diarrhoea by up to 50%. Madagascar suffers dearly from this illness, with approximately 4000 children dying in the country every day from it (WaterAid). It is therefore quite clear why Global Handwashing Day is important to the country; promoting hygiene and sanitation in places that it is not part of day to day life.  Global Handwashing Day took place on the southern coast, in Tuléar. The event filled the town with vibrance, excitement and also great information about the importance of handwashing with soap; to those young and old. The day saw a collaboration of government, national, and international NGO’s; working together to raise awareness and promote handwashing with soap. The Ministers of Water, Health and Education headed the event, with an incredible number of leaders in the field also being present to show support. The attendance of the Minister of Education, the Head of the Region, the Director of WaterAid Madagascar and also the head of Diorano-WASH highlighted how much the country care about this project. These leaders, to name a few, pushed the issue of global handwashing with soap into the spotlight; making not only those in Tuléar, but those all over the country, listen to the key idea- “choose handwashing with soap, choose health”.The parade visited a local school, where a Tippy-Tap was set up and a demonstration was given to show the children the six steps to handwashing. These tippy-Taps were replicated in various points around town, including where the ceremony took place; where the Minister of Education and the Head of the Region also showed the whole public how to wash hands effectively. The promotion of the Tippy-Tap also added another aspect to the event; as not only did it underline the importance of washing hands with soap, but it showed the local people how it can be made possible if there is no access to clean running water.

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