ANTANANARIVO, April 17, 2012 – Madagascar’s economy loses 201 billion Malagasy ariary (US$103 million, 1 percent of GDP) each year due to poor sanitation, according to a report today released by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).
The desk study, Economic Impacts of Poor Sanitation in Africa - Madagascar, found that the majority (75 percent) of these costs come from the annual premature death of 10,400 Malagasy from diarrheal disease, including 6,900 children under the age of 5, nearly 90 percent of which is directly attributable to poor water, sanitation, and hygiene.
Access time and productivity losses accounted for 17.3 percent of the total economic costs, while health-related costs accounted for about 8.7 percent.
“We’ve known for some time about the impact of poor sanitation on health, but this is one of the first studies to quantify the annual costs incurred because of poor sanitation,” said Yolande Coombes, senior water and sanitation specialist with WSP. “Madagascar will not be able to grow sustainably without addressing these costs.”
The study also found that 12 million Malagasy use unsanitary or shared latrines, 6.6 million have no latrine at all and defecate in the open, and that the poorest 20 percent is 12 times more likely to practice open defection than the richest.