Water, sanitation and play area beach project – Sambava – 2012 /13 with MDF

UPDATE: December 2016

Aust & Hachmann (Canada) LTD is proud to provide this update on the success of the Sambava Beach Project. The initial transformation of the beach area was impressive, and we hoped it would be the foundation for a lasting change in the community.

Below are a few pictures showing just how much the community has taken to the revitalized beach area and in doing so have been the most important factor in transforming the landscape.

First, a brief testimonial from Brian Donaldson of the Madagascar Development Fund.

Dear David (Aust & Hachmann Canada) and Berend (Aust & Hachmann),

 You may remember that when Nicole and I paid our first visit to Sambava in April 2012 (pre FEMA) we discovered that the beach (and sea) was not just the public toilet but a place where rubbish of all kinds was dumped,  including inedible animal waste from the local slaughter house.

 The Aust & Hachmann financed JCI eco-toilet and children’s playground project has not just completely changed the population’s behaviour it has made a significant contribution to economic development.  Instead of being a disgusting, no-go area a significant number of families,  their children and young people now head there at weekends to relax, picnic, dance, play football and rugby, buy food and drink and actually swim – now that the water is no longer contaminated with human waste.

 I am sending you a few of the photographs we took on Sunday 13 November (2016) showing just how popular the beach has become,  and how many people are now making a decent living – thanks to Aust & Hachmann’s generosity.

 With best wishes,

 Brian Donaldson







Location: The town of Sambava is the centre of Madagascar’s vanilla growing area. It is located in SAVA Region in the the far north east of Madagascar. Although accessible by road from the capital, Antananarivo, a significant proportion of the journey to Sambava is on earth track and can take several days – particularly during the rainy season.





Sambava has considerable potential as a tourist destination – the main attractions being the beach/sea and the dramatic scenery and nearby mountains. But like most other towns of its size, Sambava is seriously lacking in basic infrastructure. There are no public toilets, and less than half the estimated population of 12,000 have sanitation in or near their homes. The rest use the beach – which has also become the dumping ground for all kinds of rubbish and waste.

Most primary schools, even within a short distance of the town,   are constructed of little more than bamboo and leaves. When it rains the classrooms are flooded, and the children have to be sent home. More solidly built schools, of bricks with corrugated iron roofs, often have no latrine. The children use the surrounding countryside – with consequent health risks and causing significant environmental pollution.

Large rural communities have little or no access to basic health care.








The Jeune Chambre Internationale, (JCI)(Young International Chamber) is an international organization,   similar to Rotary and Lions, whose members, consisting of young professionals aged between 18 and 40, are focused on social and economic development.

The Sambava Branch of JCI would like to contribute to infrastructure development in the town, and have formulated a project which involves the local community in improving and protecting the environment, reducing the damage caused by erosion and mobilizing and uniting the population through their participation in community activity.

The specific elements of the project are :

  • to build public toilets with three stalls near that part of the beach most used by the local population, and install three water points with hand pumps that are accessible to the public; ($2,640)
  • plant trees to stop beach erosion; ($495)
  • create a green area with a shelter from the sun and fixed seating; ($3,100)
  • build a children’s playground with swings and seesaws etc; ($2,050)

The transport of building materials, making of signage and cost of labour for 50 people adds $5,500 to the total project budget of $13,780.





  • Improving and embellishing facilities at the town’s beach;
  • Creating a shop window for the community – showing what can be achieved;
  • Raising consciousness and encouraging responsibility towards environmental problems.









This project is one of the Commune’s urgent priorities. Conditions on and around the beach are deplorable and a potential health risk. They can only discourage tourism and damage the town’s reputation. Improvements can be made and valuable community amenities created for a comparatively modest sum.

Finance is recommended.







Project execution: August 2013
Project completed: November 2013


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