Over the last five months, 371 households have seen their livelihoods improved by having access to water right at their house.
In very close cooperation with 6 villages of the 5 Tract area of Keng Tung township in Eastern Shan State, the testing phase of installing door-to-door water distribution systems has been successfully completed.
A total of 5 water tanks of a capacity of 20 000 l have been constructed.
From the main water tanks, a distribution system supplies inox tanks of a capacity of 3 000 l located at strategic points in the village. A maximum of 10 households are connected to one secondary tank. This means that each household has now at least 300 l of water at their disposal.
In comparison, the previous cement cylinders had a maximum capacity of 700 l and sometimes up to 40 households were connected to one cement tank.
The success of this testing phase has been tremendous and much of the credit goes to the villagers who have put volunteer work on top of their very busy agricultural schedule to get rice fields ready for planting. During the start of the rainy season, when roads and tracks became impassable, the villagers hand-carried the water distribution material from the nearest drop-off point to their village which could sometimes take 2,5 hours one way.
In the 6 villages, over 7 000 pipes have been placed and buried at least 50 cm deep in order to protect them from exposure to the elements and roaming animals.
Many lessons learned have been collected from this testing phase and the project has already identified the next batch of 6 villages to benefit from a door-to-door water distribution system.
In May and June, the Veterinary Department of Kyaing Tong township with the support from the MYA/002 project, conducted two 3-day training sessions for veterinarian workers in the target villages of the 5 Tract area.
A total of 24 participants from 12 villages were successfully trained on how to identify the most common diseases in cattle, buffalos, pigs and poultry. Each trainee received a bag with a medical kit comprised of tools, generic medicine, and vitamin complexes to treat the livestock in their respective villages for free. The trainees were also invited to support the veterinary department in completing the livestock census as well as contact the department in case they notice an unusually high number of common diseases which could be an underlying cause for a more serious outbreak.
Each trainee was tested before and after the course on their knowledge and understanding of animal health care and treatment. They all worked very hard during the training and passed their tests with flying colours.
The project was particularly proud that Mrs Daw Na Maw became the first female certified animal health care worker. Mrs Daw Na Maw was very pleased with the training and the knowledge that she gained. At first she was not sure if she would be allowed to bring her toddler but it turned out he quickly made friends in the hosting village.
The organization and translation from Burmese into La Hu language was ensured by MYA/002 Cluster Field Coordinators, Mr Da Ye La and Mr Ha Ma.
A month ago, project MYA/002 launched its very first activity in 5 villages of the mountainous 5 Tract area in the township of Keng Tung, Eastern Shan State, Myanmar. These 5 villages were selected for their priority needs with regard to water. Under the project’s Result 1, the outcome is to provide the villages in the target area with access to safe and affordable water. This will be achieved by constructing a 5 000 gallon (approx. 20 000 liters) water tank as per the standards of the Department of Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. From this main tank, the water will be distributed to secondary water tanks and from those a door-to-door system will ensure that each household has a water tap at their doorstep.
Preparing the ground for the foundation
The village of Che Nar Dea, the most remote and difficult to access of the five selected villages, does not have a water tank and the villagers have to walk downhill for at least 20 minutes to the nearest small spring to fill their cans and carry them back uphill again. As one can imagine, a lot of energy has to be put in to cover the daily water needs for drinking, cooking, washing, watering the vegetable garden and maintaining livestock.
Fetching one's water for the day
The joy was great when the villagers were informed that they would be the beneficiaries of a water tank and a door-to-door water distribution system through project MYA/002. However, it was made clear that this activity would also require support from the village as well. It was agreed that the villagers would collect sand from the river (and this time they had to walk for 30 minutes one way), provide big rocks for the foundation, gather a daily crew of at least 5 villagers to work hand in hand with the masonry team during the construction period, including the digging of a 4-mile-long ditch in which the water pipes from the water source to the water tank will be buried. The village also provides accommodation and cooked rice to the masonry team of three skilled workers. All of this was also agreed upon in the other selected villages.
Sand and rocks collected by villagers
Collecting water for the construction
The project provided all of the construction material. A total of 49 truck loads carrying between 3 and 5 tons of materials were used to deliver the construction material to the different locations. To build a single 5 000-gallon water tank, one needs up to 8 000 bricks, 3 tons of gravel, 150 bags of cement, 60 iron reinforcement bars, 30 metal roofing sheets and so on. In the specific case of Che Nar Dea and because of the deplorable condition of the track, the initial 5-ton truck loads had to be dropped off and reloaded on to a 2-ton truck which made the journey 10 times, breaking down twice.
Slowly making their way up the hill
Rough riding makes for tough luck
The MYA/002 project team knew that only with an exemplary participation from each village was the water tank activity going to be a successful.
Everyone lent a hand or two
Although the projected suggested to have only 5 helping workers a day, the villagers were eager to participate
Each of the 5 villages lived up to the task: sand, rocks and water were provided, wood was cut from the community forest, villagers organized turns in cooking for the masonry crews, they showed up every day to help with the construction and learned some basic masonry skills – all of this whilst also having to plough their fields. Even when the tracks had to be improved and trucks pulled out of ditches or up the hill, the villagers were there to help. They truly showed ownership and willingness to provide whatever support they could give.
Now, one month later and nearing the finalization of the construction of the 5 tanks, the team is very impressed with the outcome and is looking forward to the installation of the door-to-door water distribution system.
On Friday 16 February 2018, the Eastern Shan State Rural Development and Inclusion Project (MYA/002) celebrated its launch ceremony at the town hall of Kyaing Tong city. High level delegates from the Government of the Union of Myanmar, the Shan State Parliament, the Military, representatives from Luxembourg, local administrations, institutions, political parties, ethnic tribes and most importantly beneficiaries from the targeted villages all came together to take part in the kick-off of this 10 000 000 EUR rural development project. Over the next 5 years, the implementation will be concentrated in about 100 remote villages of Kyaing Tong and Tachileik township in Eastern Shan State of Myanmar.
Registration of participants
Each distinguished speaker emphasized in his statement the importance of the development of capacities and infrastructure in rural areas as this will contribute in the long run to the economic development of the country.
The project will more specifically improve the means and resources for legal livelihood activities of the local population in the targeted area. The aim is to bridge gaps by providing the communities with easy access to villages, safe water, electricity, modern agriculture, education and literacy for all as well as a good telecommunications network.
High level delegates posing in front of the ideal representation of a well developed village in the rural area.
The Department of Rural Development (DRD), under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation will be the project owner and technical assistance will be provided by LuxDev on behalf of the MYA/002 project. This particular set-up marks a first in the implementation modalities of the DRD and thus close cooperation and coordination between the DRD and MYA/002 technical assistance will be essential.
The launch ceremony was brought to life by performances from the Shan, Lahu and Akha traditional dance groups which also represent the majority of the ethnic tribes present in the project’s targeted area.
Akha traditional dance group
Performance of the Lahu traditional Dance Group
The MYA/002 project team is also composed of representatives from each collaborating country and ethnic tribes from the Shan State. The team is eager to start their collaborative work with their colleagues from DRD. The team also counts on the support of many other relevant stakeholders to improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries. For any further enquiry or information please contact the project via email: email@example.com.