Following months of especially severe flooding in late 2015, CWS has supported 15 Ayeyawaddy River delta communities to keep making changes, slowly but surely, to build their resilience and continue their development, despite their perennial vulnerability. During the past three years, there has been progress; there have been setbacks, and there has been hope.
One source of hope, and help, has been financial and technical assistance to look at the delta communities’ need for an affordable adaptation for family and school latrines, which are especially hard to maintain in flood plains. With funding from a donor interested in supporting innovation and expert advice from colleagues at the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, the CWS Myanmar team has been working diligently for more than a year to design, build and test an affordable and acceptable latrine model. They did this by starting small with two latrines at one school. The basic latrines were built before the raining season in 2018; the where monitored for viability throughout the season and, finally, at the end of the season tested for their quality – which was assessed to be solid.
Now, having also partnered with CAWST colleagues and community leaders to identify and technically train nine local men to become skilled masons, CWS and families are moving ahead to build 198 household latrines and to make final improvements to the school latrines between now and January 2020. With the confidence of the past year’s success and the promise of continuing partnership, the CWS Myanmar team is poised for increasing success with more families in the coming year.
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