Women in this Mandalay village no longer have to go far to fetch water. © CPM, 2019. Used with permission.
This year we are increasing our support of the work of our partner, the (Anglican) Church in the Province of Myanmar (CPM), enabling them to provide clean drinking water to people in eight villages remote from the large towns and cities.
We will be doing this in three dioceses and two missionary dioceses.
Often the problem for water access lies in topography. Many of these villages are in mountainous areas, where wells can be difficult to dig. In such cases providing more rainwater tanks is a good option.
Sometimes the problem is that the village has increased in size and its existing water catchment and storage is insufficient. This is the case with Kyun Chaung Village. This village is 8 hours by boat from Pathein City in the Ayeyarwady region west of the capital, Yangon. Almost 1,000 people live there – a mixture of Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, who live together peacefully. During the rainy season, the villagers have no problem getting fresh water, but in the dry season the water becomes salty, due to the incursion of sea water.
Although the community currently has two rain water collection tanks, these are not enough for the whole village. So the people have to buy fresh water from nearby places. This is not always easy, or possible. Some people do not have enough household utensils for fetching water; some do not have boats to carry water. Some elderly people are too frail to travel far. The results can be fatal, as people catch diarrhea or hepatitis because of having to drink dirty water.
It is also sobering to realise that this village is one of those still recovering from the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis, twelve years ago.
As well as gaining better access to clean water, communities participating in the project also learn about how to care for the environment, about safer agricultural practices, and how projects can be used to increase women’s participation and empowerment.
To gain an insight into how the Church implements the water projects, read about the work of U Yaw Sung, an active member of his local parish.
U Yaw Sung is 42 and lives in a village in Kachin State. He has two sons. He is the church secretary and actively participates in church activities.
All the training relating to the installation of the water facilities went well in his village last year. He organized all the tube well drilling, and the construction of the water tank for the community. Because he understood what was required, he was also able to lead the village community in managing the water system to ensure it can be used for many years to come.
U Yaw Sung told the community,
“We have our own tube well now. It is our responsibility to maintain it and the water tank as our own, for longer sustainable use in our village. We have also our own parish hall and can provide programs like capacity building training for our church and also for our community... This water project is a great support to fulfil our hopes for the future”, U Yaw Sung added, with a smile of satisfaction on his face.
This year we aim to supply clean drinking water to eight villages, a total of 2,750 people, and conduct seminars in hygiene and sanitation, environmental awareness, safe agricultural practices and women’s empowerment.
In 2020 the Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project needs $91,558
Please consider supporting this project for the sake of the health and well-being of those living in the eight remote villages.
Gifts to ABM will be applied to the support of project(s) selected. In the unlikely event of the project being oversubscribed or not proceeding to completion, donations will be applied to a similar project to the one(s) selected.
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