Asia / Pacific
Photo: Yoko Ito
Water Supply Improvement Project
The focus of this program was the construction of a gravity-flow water supply system – from “spring to village” – in Myine Thar Yar village, Myanmar. The most discernable benefit has been the increased access of all households in the village to safe drinking water year-round.
Villagers worked on water pipe installation for a daily wage, and since they have long had limited opportunities to make money aside from farming, they appreciated the cash income. An extension water pipe was constructed from the water distribution tank. Villagers are happy they can now access clean water near their houses, which lessens the burden, especially for women and children, of carrying heavy containers of water from the stream or shallow well.
The building of the water system had several other important benefits, including supporting the voluntary return of Myanmar’s internally displaced persons, as well as refugees. Strengthening infrastructure and environmental protection can assist potential host communities in preparing for returnees. By constructing a water supply system, the integration of returnees is easier – there is less strain on local development systems.
As part of the program, community members are being trained on how to maintain the water supply system. In the village, 163 people – or about 33 households – are benefiting from the system. A key part of the program has been encouraging women and youth to participate in an initial focus group discussion and they have shared their opinions for project planning.
The access to safe and hygienic water by all residents has greatly improved life in Myine Thar Yar village.