Habitat for Humanity will be working with six villages in Myanmar: Kyauk Yae Twin in Kyaikhto Township, Phar Pain, Ma Cha and Win Phone villages in Thaton Township and Mar Lar Poo and Thet Kel Kyin villages in Bilin Township. In a recent exploratory trip, villagers shared stories of the conditions in Mon State.
In one village, there were just seven wells for 75 houses. By the start of the dry season in November, three of the wells were already dry. By the end of the wet season in April, all seven had dried up. The water that is available is “dusty” and needs to stand for several days so the sediment settles before families can even drink.
In another village, almost everyone works in the rubber plantation. The women are paid $2 per day and the men $3 per day. There is nowhere left to grow food as the land is owned by the plantation and the little land available is too arid. This means villagers must use their already limited money to buy food.
There are only four wells for the villagers to access and they are dry three months of the year. It is approximately a one mile walk in each direction to reach water from a local stream. However, as the water isn’t treated, sickness such as diarrhoea is commonplace.
Sanitation facilities are also limited, with only three toilets for approximately 70 houses (with 4-5 people per house).
Families have remained trapped in poverty due to an endless cycle of housing repairs. Roofs are made from leaves and need to be changed every year at a cost of $50 and one month’s labour. As most of the forest has been cut down for private rubber plantations, it is much harder to access materials to repair houses.
Project LifeChange aims to improve water, hygiene and sanitation, and repair safe and secure homes. The selected activities will directly benefit the whole villages and their people.