The water supply in Madagascar urgently needs to be improved 

The problems:

The inhabitants of Madagascar suffer from the poor water supply. The quality of the water is insufficient in many places, and some of the water has to be boiled for drinking. Supply interruptions lasting hours and days are a major problem due to pipe bursts and disruptions in water treatment. The amount of water available is also insufficient in many places. The capital Antananarivo, for example, has a daily demand of about 300,000 m3 . However, only about 200,000 m3 are available.

Running water in the house is a rarity even in larger cities. The many people affected have to obtain and pay for water daily at a public well or water kiosk. 

Fetching water is often child labour. Children, especially in rural areas, have to carry the water home, sometimes over long distances. This often hinders their regular attendance at school.

Leaky pipe from colonial times

Fetching water from a dug well

Carrying water home on the head

Washing clothes at the village creek

The reason for the major problems in Madagascar's water supply 

The reasons for the frequent pipe failures are, among other things, the old age of the water pipes from the French colonial era and the fact that unsuitable pipe material is often used for pipe construction, e.g. PVC pipes.

In addition, the population in Madagascar's cities has grown enormously. As a result, the procurement and treatment of water has fallen far behind. Also, the financial means to improve the water supply have not been sufficiently available until now.  

The Development Aid Project for improved quality in the construction of drinking water pipelines 


For the reasons mentioned above, we have proposed to the state water utility Jirama to send two technicians to Switzerland for a fortnight for training in the construction of pipelines with HDPE pipes and exchange of experience with Swiss experts. The two technicians arrived at the end of February 2023. 

First week: VKR course in Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne, on the construction of water pipes with HDPE              

Arrival in Switzerland

Theory lessons

The training site

The welding machine

Welding HDPE pipes

First job with HDPE 

Examination work

 Final examination

Second week: Exchange of experience at the Lausanne, Fribourg and Zurich waterworks and the pipeline construction company SINEF in Givisiez.

Pipe break repair in Lausanne Ville

Usine Lausanne St. Sulpice

Transport pipelines

Water reservoir Quintzet FR

Work experience at SINEF SA, Givisiez

Work experience at SINEF SA, Givisiez

Work experience at SINEF SA, Givisiez

Theory lessons Lengg Zurich

Pipeline construction Zurich

Slow sand filter Zurich

The farewell in Zurich

Examples of pipeline construction Switzerland

The know-how from Switzerland is immediately passed on and successfully applied in Madagascar

Theory lesson at Jirama in Antananarivo

The welding process is demonstrated to the local specialists

Preparation for the first welding

The interested Jirama team

The pipe welding 

The newly trained Jirama team

Thanks to the organisations involved.

The following organisations provided valuable support in the implementation of this project:
VKR Aarau (Association of Plastic Pipes), Lausanne Waterworks, Fribourg Waterworks, Zurich Waterworks and the pipeline construction company SINEF Fribourg.

Further measures for a good drinking water supply in Madagascar.

In Madagascar, 35 projects are pending, some of them larger, to improve and expand the drinking water supply. We hope that it will be possible to motivate drinking water experts from Switzerland to travel to Madagascar in order to impart additional know-how to the experts on site. This would be an effective contribution to the urgently needed improvement of the drinking water supply in good, sustainable quality.

If you are interested in contributing your expertise to the success of this project, please contact us!

       Peter Preisig, c/o Preisig AG, Siewerdtstr. 9, CH 8050 Zürich       

+41 44 315 41 50,    [email protected],  

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