Honors College Thesis

 

An investigation of water access and quality in the Ambovombe area of southern Madagascar Public Deposited

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  • The Ambovombe-Androy region of southern Madagascar is one of the most water stressed areas in the country and is also notorious for having the worst quality water on the island. Before improvements and change can be made however, it is vital to know what infrastructure, quality, and access levels currently exist. Therefore, this project hoped to serve as a rough survey of the present water infrastructure and availability which could guide any future development, as well as provide insight into the local perceptions of water quality and desires for future infrastructure that should be taken into account. Over the course of three weeks in November 2013, personal observations supplemented numerous interviews addressing the topics of water access, quality, and infrastructure, which were performed with organization representatives and a variety of individuals in the Ambovombe area. The resulting information showed an alarming lack of organizational involvement, skewed local perceptions of water quality, varying degrees of accessibility, and basic desires for infrastructural improvement. From this investigation, it became clear that corruption at multiple levels played a role in the inadequate water access and quality in the area and that cultural factors also played a dominant role in the situation and influenced the investigation through the type of interview approach that took place and through interviewee responses. It was found that from a health and global perspective, water access and quality in the Ambovombe area was insufficient and experienced virtually no treatment before consumed. Decentralization, political unrest, corruption, and overall disorganization were the ultimate contributors to the lack of water infrastructure and the maintenance of past and present sources such as water trucks, basins, and borne fontaines. Taking this into account, Ambovombe needs water infrastructure solutions that minimize such destructive factors. Such solutions could be a pipe that brings water from the Menarandre River to the old piping system beneath Ambovombe and water leadership, management, and maintenance groups involving women at the fokontany level, the lowest recognized level of governance in Madagascar. In essence, political transparency and public participation are critical to both political and resource developments in the future. Key Words: water, water quality, water access, Madagascar, Africa,
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