Four Cleans: Myanmar's Sanitation Challenge

Video | 27 May 2014

A poor community in Yangon, Myanmar, built their own latrines and improved hygiene in their neighborhood thanks to a small-scale sanitation project supported by ADB.

Transcript

Title: Four Cleans: Myanmar's Sanitation Challenge

Description: A poor community in Yangon, Myanmar, built their own latrines and improved hygiene in their neighborhood thanks to a small-scale sanitation project supported by ADB.

VO: Emerging from decades of isolation, Myanmar is on the move. The country is poised for rapid economic growth, specially in Yangon, the largest city.

On the fringe of the city lies Dawbon township, a low lying residential area near the river, prone to flooding during heavy rains and tidal inundation. The township is not connected to the city water supply. Residents who can afford it, have a deep well. Poor households buy water from private water sellers. Sanitation is poor. Many homes do not have proper toilets and faecal waste is discharge into gutters clogged with garbage, combined with poor hygiene practices, this has resulted in high incidences of waterborne diseases specially affecting children.

There is one neighborhood in Dawbon, however, which is quite different from the others. This community meeting is about the 4 cleans – clean water, clean hands, clean toilet, and clean food. It’s part of a community pilot sanitation and hygiene project in Ramadan ward. Apart from hygiene education, this small scale project has built a 150 new household sanitary latrines with elevated septic tanks to protect from flooding. Residents construct their own toilet structure and contribute to a fund for maintenance and environmental services in the community. This pilot sanitation initiative is being implemented by Malteser International, an NGO with financial support from the Asian Development Bank.

SOT: Dr. Thynn Thynn Htut
Malteser International
People have more knowledge about health now and understand the importance of environmental sanitation. New latrines keep human excreta inside the pit and there is no contamination of the tidal water and no more human excreta getting into the houses when there is flooding.

SOT: Resident
It is very different now. People used to defecate out in the open. Feces, papers, and sticks were scattered all over. As a  resident I know this was the practice, but we could not afford to do otherwise. Now, with this project we are happy and free from diseases. We are clean and the neighborhood is clean too.

VO: Community volunteers are cleaning up the creek and surronding ditches, which are choked with solid waste. There’s much more to be done in Dawbon to improve the flow of benefits from good sanitation and a healthy environment.

SOT: Dr. Thynn Thynn Htut
Malteser International
The people here will continue to keep their environment clean. They see the benefits. Their neighborhood is nice and clean. They are committed. They will carry on.