Since 2011, Myanmar has embarked on increasing investments to upgrade and expand urban infrastructure and services, mainly for major or primary infrastructure. These, however, may take years to build and have any impact at the individual household level. This pilot and demonstration activity (PDA) sought to demonstrate the feasibility of creating sustainable environmental improvements in the short term by working directly with communities on better local infrastructure and services using an approach that is financially and operationally sustainable. The activity focused on one of the slum areas in Dawbon Township in Yangon.


Project site Yangon, Myanmar
Cost $50,000
Status Completed
Approval date December 2012
Completion date December 2013
ADB officer Rudolf Frauendorfer
Partner Malteser International


Dawbon Township is one of the poor areas on the outskirts of Yangon. Solid waste management is a massive problem in the area, affecting people’s health and sanitation. The PDA targeted the Lamudan Ward of Dawbon Township, one of the least developed wards, in order to improve their waste collection system and access to sanitation, as well as establish a joint maintenance fund between the residents and ward authorities to pay for the desludging of septic tanks.


With minimal investment in hardware and construction, the PDA showed a cost-effective way to ensure proper waste disposal in underserved poor urban areas in Yangon, relying primarily on community-driven waste collection methods. About 50 waste bins were distributed and two waste trolley handlers are in operation. Households pay a small fee for the collection, which is then brought to a collection point where government services pick up and transfer to an official dumpsite.

The pilot likewise improved urban sanitation at the household level with the construction of 150 household sanitary latrines and training 150 beneficiaries to become peer educators to further share the importance of sanitation vis-à-vis public health. The joint maintenance fund was also established. Where before there were heaps of decomposing feces, by the end of the PDA the community had a sealed septic tank and the community has become more aware of good sanitation practices.

Read the final report.