Myanmar - Better hygiene promotes health


With its golden pagodas, Buddha statues and streets lined with palm trees, the town of Thanbyuzayat in south-eastern Myanmar is very picturesque. But for the residents, the visual appeal is of secondary importance. The town’s location far from the capital city of Naypyidaw makes hygiene a challenge, particularly in the poorer districts. The people have no access to safe drinking water or clean toilets, and are often not aware of the link between hand hygiene and disease.

In cooperation with World Vision, Knorr-Bremse Global Care has launched a project in Thanbyuzayat to tackle these problems. Together they are building water supply systems that are protected against sea water, waste and sewage when flooding occurs, and do not dry up in the dry season. Georg Kessler, who is responsible for the project at World Vision, paints a vivid picture of the situation: “The people used to rely on water donations from other regions between January and May, or they had to buy water. This had an impact on people’s hygiene – diseases spread by poor hygiene and contaminated water were rampant.”

Naturally, local people and craftsmen helped install the water supply systems. The project teams drilled new wells, laid pipelines, installed water tanks and built latrines in private households and two schools. Training was provided to raise awareness of hygiene, particularly among mothers and children. Thanks to the new wells and sanitary facilities, people are no longer forced to fetch water from polluted pools and defecate in the open. Cases of diarrhea, which is particularly dangerous for children, have fallen. This great achievement has helped improve the health of nearly 30,000 people in Myanmar.



Myanmar - Better hygiene promotes health

Main Focus: WASH

Place: Thanbyuzayat, Mon State, Myanmar

Beneficiaries: 29.526 people

Estimated Costs: 127.000 Euro

Global Care Project Supervisor: Julia Thiele-Schürhoff

Partner Organization: World Vision Germany, World Vision Myanmar

Duration: July 2014 - December 2017