5 questions for… Arnaud de Gaujac and Fabrizio Franco, Nosy Komba Solidarité

01/07/2014 This month we put the spotlight on Nosy Komba Solidarité, one of the charities supported by TFWA Care. The founders, Arnaud de Gaujac (of Parfums Christian Dior) and Fabrizio Franco, explain how the association is improving the lives of some of Madagascar’s poorest inhabitants.

Can you explain briefly the origins of NKS and how you got the charity off the ground?

Arnaud de Gaujac and Fabrizio Franco: Nosy Komba Solidarité was born in 2010 in order to address a serious lack of sanitation facilities on the island of Nosy Komba in north-western Madagascar. The lack of hygiene on the island was causing the spread of diseases affecting particularly weak people – children, pregnant women and the elderly.

NKS is a Madagascan not-for-profit charity. It was created to respond to a crisis prompted by recurrent outbreaks of typhoid and cholera which were raging within the village of Ampangorina on Nosy Komba.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in establishing NKS?

Our major challenge has been to address the traditional habits of the villagers, which had contributed to the hygiene problems encountered on Nosy Komba. From the beginning we had to create a genuine emergency action plan in order to alter these habits, with a focus on educating the people and on building the necessary infrastructure: shower blocks, renovation of the water piping network, disinfection facilities, toilets and washhouses, etc. Much of what we take for granted in developed countries simply didn’t exist.

How has TFWA Care helped you achieve your objectives with NKS so far?

Thanks to TFWA Care's financial support, NKS has been able to meet its objectives and act on a larger scale and in shorter time. As our main benefactor, TFWA has enabled and will enable NKS to pursue the implementation of its action plan to help people through:

constructing public and private sanitation blocks
renovating the water piping network
constructing a sanitization canal for waste
making people aware of hygiene problems by providing relevant information
implementing an action plan to collect and manage household waste
setting up a hydro-electric turbine in order to provide lighting for some public thoroughfares.

What are your priorities at Nosy Komba in 2014?

Our main priority remains to fight against severe and recurring epidemics on Nosy Komba:

by extending the construction of public and private sanitation blocks further to the successful operations completed in 2012 and 2013
by continuing the awareness campaign among the local population
by implementing a thorough action plan to eliminate household waste
by improving the day-to-day comfort of the people.

How optimistic are you for the future of your work at NKS?

After four years of continuous hard work, NKS is highly regarded by the local population thanks to its clear strategy, its humanitarian activities and the concrete results. The reputation of our organisation will enable NKS to pursue its three-year plan and carry out new operations for the future with the support of the people and – last but not least – with the same passion.