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A new source of water and a clean perspective

Ma Khin, 10, smiles while taking part at the community funfair to promote healthy hygiene habits and hand washing.

“I would like to have enough fresh water for all the families here,” said Ma Khin, 10, from Myanmar.

Ma Khin is 10 years old. She lives in Myanmar with her family. Although Ma Khin loves going to school, it’s not always possible. That’s because she spends many of her days fetching water for her family during the dry season.

It’s a problem for most children like Ma Khin, but an even bigger problem for the communities where Plan works in Myanmar. That’s because for years, open ponds have been the main source of water for these communities.

As you can imagine, the pond water is unsafe. It leads to high levels of infection and disease in Myanmar’s children. And during the dry season, the pond water dries up, forcing children like Ma Khin to collect water miles away, missing out on school.

A fresh new start for everyone

Thankfully, times are changing in Myanmar. Because of Plan’s Water project, an initiative to build and reconstruct major water systems is underway. The new and improved water systems will support over 1,600 people, and provide safe drinking water for 2 primary schools.

Once clean water is flowing, communities will see a decline in the spread of water-borne diseases. And to maintain a healthy environment now and in the long-term, the project will also include hygiene and sanitation training at schools and at community events.

Clean hands and a clean perspective
Children dip their hands in colourful paint to help decorate a banner at the funfair.

Children were encouraged to get their hands dirty at the funfair in Myanmar, learning afterwards how to properly wash their hands.

Everyone in the community is excited about the improvements to their water facilities. Plan has been working with children and families to promote a healthy lifestyle and to keep the momentum going.

“I have become a member of the school WASH (Water and Sanitation/Hygiene) team and took part in the funfair, which was so fun,” explained Ma Khin.

325 other students joined Ma Khin at the funfair hosted by Plan. 350 adults also took part in the event, which promoted hand-washing and healthy hygiene practices through a number of activities. There were relay races, drawing competitions and interactive painting lessons to help drive the message home: clean hands save lives.

With this much enthusiasm and spirit, we can barely wait to see what the next year brings to families in Myanmar!