Stories of Change

A man builds one of the sanitary latrines constructed in this program.

During this year, 18,867 people benefited from CWS and partner initiatives in Myanmar.

Flood Recovery Brings Lasting Improvements for 85 Myanmar Families

Some basic rebuilding in communities that were flooded last July in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region has improved the lives of 85 families in two villages of Maubin township, which is due west of Yangon.

Support from Japan’s Felissimo company enabled CWS to provide basic tin roofing materials to 10 families so that they could better protect themselves during inevitable future rainstorms. These families and 75 others also now have basic, hygienic, elevated latrines, which they can use all year round – even when their villages are flooded.

Before these latrines, families used to have to go to the forest to use the bathroom, including at night and in the rainy season. Snakes and insect bites were an all-too-real possibility. Equally important, people – especially the girls and women – no longer feel ashamed about the bad smell of their waste from open defecation and menstruation.

Our team in Myanmar is really proud to help people have their dignity, so the results from our partnership with Felissimo are important to them. Another significant benefit of this program? It helped provide a context for awareness-raising; many families learned important lessons about personal hygiene and disease prevention, which has caused them to change their behaviors to protect their health. For example, handwashing before meals and after toilet use, and keeping latrines themselves cleaner, was seen more often as the project progressed.

Now, with a more hygienic home and behavior, families can focus on other things, like work and education, without worrying about sickness due to diarrhea or other diseases and conditions related to poor hygiene.