ADB, Japan to Assist Myanmar Improve Water and Sanitation Works

NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR – About 18,000 people in Yangon and Mandalay will soon have access to a safe, regular water supply and improved sanitation facilities with the signing of a $4 million grant funded by the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction and administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

This four-year community infrastructure and basic services project is expected to reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases, improve the system of solid and liquid wastes disposal, and reduce flooding and waterlogging in two of Myanmar's most populated cities.

"Community participation will be instrumental in the delivery, operation and maintenance of these infrastructure subprojects" said Linda Adams, Social Development Specialist in ADB's Southeast Asia Department.

A self-perpetuating community operation and maintenance fund, with community development committees responsible for the collection of fees and administration of the infrastructure will be introduced by the project.

The grant will also include improving drainage of storm and flood water, and enhancing access to roads and footpaths.

"Improving living conditions in Myanmar's major cities by enhancing sanitation and clean water access is crucial to ensuring that the country's growth is inclusive, with benefits reaching vulnerable and poor populations," said Matsuo Hideaki, Counsellor (Economic and Overseas Development Assistance) of the Embassy of Japan in Myanmar.

The grant can demonstrate to city authorities innovative and sustainable methodologies for the planning and delivery of improved sanitation and urban services infrastructures with community involvement.

By 2018, the grant aims to build 2,000 sanitary latrines, construct 17 kilometers of drains linked to city networks, and build four community solid waste systems in four townships. It will also build capacity within local government and develop community action plans and mobilize 100 Community Development Committees to partner with Township and City level Development Committees. This will help ensure improvements such as better access to safe and regular water supplies, sanitation, drainage, and flood protection are sustainable.