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From Open Defecation to Improved Sanitation: Create appropriate sanitation facilities to solve women's health and safety issues such as poor hygiene and risk of rapes in Antintorona, Madagascar

One of the main cause of illnesses and death in Nosy Komba, a small island located northwest Madagascar, is diarrhoea. Less than 5% of the population of this area have the access to sanitation facilities so there are not better options available than the open defecation. Open defecation is the most important cause of water pollution which spreads diarrhoeal diseases. Women have to face other big problems: -the fear concerning the risk of rape, it is dangerous to go in the forest alone to defecate, even more at night; -personal hygiene, it is crucial for women mostly during their period or pregnancy. The project consists in creating adequate household sanitation systems which help to decrease illnesses and women's safe.

Photo of Edoardo Bono
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After we met, got to know and made interviews with the community of Antintorona, we believe in a complete success of the project that is shared and required by all the community.
The locals expressed the need to have appropriate sanitation facilities that will solve all the problems they have to deal with. Because of that , the results will be immediate and tangible also with the help of educational programs about the correct use and maintenance of the toilets which are expected from the project.
The team is working on different parts of the project: architectonic, logistic, educational, crowdfunding. In july we will go to Antintorona to start to realize the first prototypes of toilets.

Explain your idea in one sentence.

The main idea consists in building appropriate household sanitation facilities to solve women's safety and healthy issues that concern open defecation, which is still the only option in Nosy Komba, as in the northwestern part of Madagascar.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

Lots of women are raped because of open defecation. Unfortunately it is common that something bad happens while they reach a place to defecate. It is usually a place far from their huts such as the forest, isolated and often very dark. Considering the fact that the community don't have electricity, after the sunset there isn't light anymore so it becomes even more dangerous and scaring for women to satisfy their physiological needs. Another problem strongly linked to this lack, is the premature drop of school by the girls caused by their feeling of shame and uneasiness during their period. By abandoning schools, girls are forced to stay at home and work not having the opportunity to study.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

The goal is to build toilets for each house and improve sanitary conditions at school. All the community will benefit from this project, especially women for their own natural necessities. The idea of the project was born after various conversations with the locals, who expressed the need to have appropriate sanitation facilities that will solve all the problems they have to deal with. Because of that , the results will be immediate and tangible also with the help of educational programs about the correct use and maintenance of the toilets.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

The idea is implemented by my association, still under construction, that will be called "H4O, Help for Optimism" born to realize this specific project on sanitation. The team is composed by different and complementary professional profiles. Each of them is taking care about specific part of the project within their own competence. To achieve the best realization, there will be a local project manager who will organize the workforce that will be made of people from the village.

Where should this idea be implemented?

The place where the project will be realized is Antintorona, one of the biggest village of the island of Nosy Komba, north west of Madagascar. This village has about 550 inhabitants of the 4500 circa of Nosy Komba, which is subdivided in other 5 villages of the same size. Unlike other villages in Nosy Komba, Antintorona is well organized: there is a school, a vegetable community garden and there are several accesses to potable water. For these reasons Antintorona is seen as a model village so this innovation could be exported in other villages in the rest of the island and in all the northwestern part of Madagascar.

How might you prototype this idea and test some of the assumptions behind it?

A small number of toilets were already built in some new huts around the island therefore the technique of construction was already tested. After we met, got to know and made interviews with the community of Antintorona, we believe in a complete success of the project that is shared and required by all the community. In July the team will go to Antintorona to start to realize the prototype of toilets that will be built in houses.

What might a day in the life of a community member interacting with your idea look like?

Women will be the firsts members of the community to experience this innovation and benefit from it right after, leaving behind the fear and danger of rape and uncomfortable situations. As the girls , they will have the opportunity to continue to go to school during their period and to have the correct hygiene
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Team (2)

Edoardo's profile
Julieta's profile
Julieta Abrigana

Role added on team:

"I am very interested in your project and i would like to have some more details about it..I am willing as well to help the lifestyle of the community with practical solutions !"

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Team

Great project Edo!!! Good luck...and we are here to support you and your idea!

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