In the context of the elections in Myanmar, also known as Burma, that are changing the face of the country, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams are increasing their efforts to develop access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in crucial areas such as Rakhine State, where populations are often deprived of the most basic services.
The first step was to integrate communities in the management of their own WASH needs, with the creation of WASH committees. The goal of establishing these committees is to allow communities to begin taking ownership and responsibility for their WASH infrastructures. In a longer-term perspective, the objective is and develop theirs skills to make repairs and carry out operation and maintenance activities.
A specific focus was also put on the integration of women. The two active committees therefore have an equal number of male and female members.
Based on mutual trust
In September 2015, two WASH committees were created in Chein Khar Li camp and in Ah Nauk Pin village. Members who joined were selected by their own communities following their abilities to represent the camp and village residents’ interests.
Phaw Yout Salam, WASH committee member in Chein Khar Li camp, finds that the WASH committees are based on trust for the benefit of all. “As a committee member, I hope that we will carry on the maintenance of latrine and water tank for it to be functional. Maybe we can also organize ourselves and encourage the people to improve the water access structures?”
In the hope that the current elections may improve access conditions, notably in the remote northern part of Rakhine State, where many Rohingya people have little access to services, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is pursuing efforts to provide water, sanitation and hygiene services to the most vulnerable populations.
© Vincent Tremeau