17.5 million people in Myanmar do not have clean water.

19 million people in Myanmar do not have a decent toilet.

Over 700 children under five die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Myanmar.

Transitioning to democracy after years under military rule, Myanmar is fast becoming integrated into the global economy, though development is slowed by a lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

The crisis

Myanmar faces enormous challenges in ensuring people have access to water, sanitation and hygiene as the country is lacking in sustainable public infrastructure, systems and resources for these basic necessities.

The country rates amongst the worst in Southeast Asia on access to water and sanitation. 17.5 million people don’t have access to clean water. 19 million people don’t have access to decent toilets. Open defecation remains an issue, and there is currently little information available about related issues, including menstrual hygiene management, and access for people living with disabilities.

As the country heralds in a new era under a democratically-elected government, it’s crucial that policies and strategies are implemented to deal with these issues.

Our approach

The WaterAid office in Yangon was established in January 2016 to support Myanmar on its journey towards universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

In order to achieve sustainable services by 2030, we will work alongside government and international and local agencies to strengthen the planning, management and delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene services.

WaterAid Myanmar is currently involved in a number of initiatives with partners to drive better water and sanitation access for communities, schools and health centres. We are researching service provision, including menstrual hygiene management in monastic schools in the Magway region, and surveying access to water and sanitation for factory communities in Yangon.

As WaterAid Myanmar is in its initial phase of work, no impact measurement has yet been completed.