One in three people in Burma do not have even basic sanitation. About the same number do not have access to basic standards of clean drinking water. In a population of about 54 million, that means more than 17 million people are without a proper toilet or fresh drinking water. Conflict in some parts of Myanmar is limiting children’s life chances: as many as 150 children die every day in Myanmar before they reach their fifth birthday. Nearly 30 per cent of children under five suffer from moderate or severe malnutrition. Water stress is also a huge issue in parts of Myanmar. Its Dry Zone, an area covering Mandalay, Magwe and Sagaing, suffers water shortages all year round, due to climate change.
Kachin state, Ayeyarwady Region, Bago Region, Kayin state
Our partner’s work includes setting up Water Committees and Village Development Committees, mobilising villagers to share responsibility for improving water and sanitation. They also give villagers hygiene training and encourage them to build their own latrines, distributing construction materials to make sure toilets are fly-proof and resistant to flooding. This includes helping families access concrete slabs for their latrines and cement to line pits, especially in areas where the soil is sandy and unstable.
Sources: Reuters, The Guardian, Unicef, WHO/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme