Cartier Philanthropy - City-wide sanitation solution

City-wide sanitation solution


As the world continues to urbanize, the challenges of accessing safe sanitation grow. This is particularly true in Madagascar, where the number of people living in urban areas is rising at twice the rate of the rest of the country, putting existing sanitation services under increasing pressure. Business as usual, operating on too small a scale and focusing only on infrastructure rather than city-wide solutions, will fail to deliver the urban transformation and safe sanitation services that are required. WSUP’s comprehensive long-term approach focuses on improving sanitation service provision, both through directly supporting service providers and creating a stronger enabling environment. Engaging with key stakeholders at every stage in the sanitation supply chain, WSUP aims to develop a city-wide inclusive sanitation model in Antananarivo, Mahajanga, Toliara and their peri-urban areas that will bring access to sanitation services to around 100,000 people.

Focus area
Access to Basic Services


Sanitation challenges - from ending open defecation and improving service delivery to implementing sustainable wastewater and sludge management solutions - are increasingly becoming an urban health and development issue. 20% of the Malagasy population, around 5 million people, live in urban areas, often in informal settlements with no access to sanitation services or sewers.


WSUP’s ten years’ experience in Madagascar has highlighted the importance of working in conjunction with utilities, municipal governments, communities, regulators and businesses to bring high-quality sanitation services to low-income populations living in urban slums.

Following a first grant and for the next three years we’ll be supporting WSUP's efforts to develop its activities in Antananarivo, Mahajanga, Toliara and their peri-urban areas following a city-wide inclusive sanitation model to achieve universal sanitation coverage for a further 100,000 people.

The city-wide approach to inclusive sanitation involves collaboration between many parties to ensure that everyone benefits from adequate sanitation services (human waste management, relevant technical solutions, sewerage solutions adapted to local realities).

Expected results

  • The government of Madagascar adopts successful sanitation service models in its long-term planning
  • The communes of the Antananarivo, Mahajanga, Toliara increase their capacity to provide low-income communities with access to safe sanitation 
  • The sanitation utility in Antananarivo, Service Autonome de Maintenance de la Ville d’Antananarivo (SAMVA), increases its capacity to provide safe Faecal Sludge Management services across the city
  • The communes of the three cities improve their governance and regulation of water and sanitation services

Long-term strategy

WSUP’s approach goes beyond “taps and toilets”, aiming to achieve profound social and functional transformation in water and sanitation systems and policies, encompassing long-term planning, technical innovation, institutional reforms, and financial mobilisation.