|Kyo Kyar village at sunset. © ABM/Ivy Wang 2017.|
As far as Myanmar villages go, Kyo Kyar and Myi Ni Gone are fairly typical.
Sitting relatively close together in the Diocese of Yangon, the villages are marked by generous patches of bare earth amongst the fertile fields, attended by rustic dwellings made of straw and timber. Chickens scoot here and there, avoiding the quick feet of small children, whilst pigs stare from the ends of their tethering posts.
It is peaceful here, with the cares of the hectic modern world far away. But these communities are also struggling with basic necessities. When the Church of the Province of Myanmar (CPM) first came to this area, there were few sources of clean water. These two villages were using unprotected wells for their daily needs, shallow pools that would often become contaminated with animal manure, insects and washing detergents.
When the church agreed to support a Water and Sanitation project initiated by both communities, the people were delighted. Work quickly got underway. With funding from ABM and labour from the villagers, CPM organised the materials and the construction of four deep tube wells and 17 latrines. When the projects were finished, ABM were invited to come and see the work for themselves, and join in the celebrations.
|A woman fetches water at Myi Ni Gone village. © ABM/Ivy Wang 2017|
In January 2017, the ABM Asia Programs Coordinator, Lina Magallanes, and ABM Finance Manager, Ivy Wang, did just that. They were impressed to see the difference the new facilities had made, not just in terms of improved health and convenience, but also in the attitudes of the people. The villagers beamed with pride, and were eager to discuss more improvements that could be made in their communities. Lina commented,
“It was wonderful to be there and see the work for ourselves, to see what a difference it has made to everyone’s health and wellbeing.”
But that is not the end of the story. Arguably the most important aspect of this work is now beginning – the education of these communities on proper sanitation practices. This knowledge is essential in helping to reduce and eradicate many diseases present in the area, including malaria and chronic diarrhoea.
ABM would like to thank CPM and all of our generous supporters for their contributions towards this project. Your generosity ensures villages like Kyo Kyar and Myi Ni Gone receive safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and vital sanitation education throughout Myanmar.