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Spotlight on Myanmar

Two youth making hand prints with paint on a white paper

Thank you for your ongoing support of Plan’s water projects around the world. Because of your generous commitment, we’re funding long-term sustainable initiatives that are transforming the lives of 75,000 people in 200 of the world’s poorest communities.

Highlights of this work include:

  • Renovation or construction of 134 water points and water supply systems, with more than 125 under way and 340 planned for future construction
  • Construction of more than 180 latrines with 540 more near completion
  • Creation of almost 500 water and sanitation committees with 2,200 members to ensure the long-term sustainability of all of our projects
  • Training for 300 community members to act as water pump mechanics and for 200 more to carry out water analysis, control and treatment.

To find out what this means in the lives of children and families, read on about our latest project in Myanmar.

Water in Myanmar

Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. Years of neglect and underinvestment have made life difficult for children and families living in poverty, and access to a reliable supply of clean water is a basic problem with a big impact on the lives of children and families.

Until now, open ponds have been the main water source for the communities where Plan works. While the water isn’t safe to drink, it’s all there is, leading to high levels of infection and disease among children. To make matters worse, during the dry season from June to October, the local pond disappears, forcing women and children to spend hours getting water from another pond miles away.

But thanks to you, a project to build and reconstruct water systems is in the works. The new systems will benefit more than 1,600 people, plus provide clean water at two primary schools. The project also involves training in sanitation and hygiene at schools and community events.

Having fun with hand washing

Hand washing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine. Once clean water is available, it’s one of the best ways there is to reduce the spread of intestinal and respiratory illness, which take such a devastating toll on children. That’s why, since starting to install the new water points, we’ve been working with community members in Myanmar, especially children, to promote this simple but effective tool for protecting health.

We’ve been holding outreach sessions, distributing posters and stickers, and working with local teachers, students and volunteers on the new water committees about the importance of hygiene and sanitation. Then, on Global Handwashing Day this past October 16th, we helped community organizers bring hundreds of children together for a special funfair.

This event promoted hand washing through a number of hands-on – and fun – activities.

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