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[In the Field] WASH Program: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene

Kristen Mangelinkx from UNICEF’s Boston office is blogging on her trip to Madagascar. This is her fifth post.

We flew back to Antananarivo in the pouring rain yesterday afternoon after a quick tour of the vanilla factory there. Vanilla is a major export for Madagascar and we saw how the vanilla is purchased from the growers, sorted, and prepared for shipment to the U.S., Europe and Japan. We also saw the women and men who work in the factory–a steady job that only earns them about $1 per eight-hour day of work.

This morning we traveled about an hour north of Antananarivo to visit a primary school where UNICEF has implemented the WASH program, which stands for water, sanitation, and hygiene. The school was equipped with latrines, sinks with running water from a well, and plenty of education materials in the classroom about best practices for hygiene. UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Health to implement this in more schools as only about 25% of schools in Madagascar have latrines and running water. During the visit, our group had the chance to use the latrines.

We leave Madagascar tomorrow evening after our debriefing. This week has gone by so quickly and we have experienced so much. I think we are all looking forward to returning to the comforts of home, but we have certainly formed an attachment to Madagascar and the mothers and children we have met here.



  1. mmberkeleyca
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Reaching into the spice cabinet this morning, I noticed a bottle of vanilla. I wondered if it came from Madagascar: it is expensive, yet the people who are responsible for processing it earn so little. It is a sobering thought.

    The WASH Program is UNICEF at its best. What seems like such a little thing in the Western world is now saving lives across the developing countries. I am glad to see its success in Madagascar and hope it will be in 100% of the schools within a decade.

    I appreciate your thoughts on your visit, which was undoubtedly life-chaning for you as well as the people you met. I’m behind on the blogs, so I look forward to reading your final one.

  2. mini cooper kiralama
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I’m happy, you work. thank you Unicef…

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