The COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by the ongoing political instability has exacerbated all basic needs but more specifically for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in Myanmar. The impact of the current situation is significant in peri-urban Yangon, where accessibility to safe drinking water has evolved into a crisis that needs urgent attention.

Implications of the political crisis in the country remained largely unprecedented in the earlier stages, but the rapid decline in public services, and dissipating support in the development sector has shone a light on some critical WASH needs in the country. Unaffordability and unavailability of safe drinking water may result in public health issues that can arise from the consumption of poor-quality drinking water – a risk that cannot be undermined in some of Yangon’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.

WaterAid, in collaboration with UNICEF, UNDP and private sector suppliers has been working to ensure communities have steady supply for safe drinking water while more sustainable, longer-term interventions are put in place.

Together we have been:

  • Providing drinking water to more than 20,000 households
  • Working with private sector suppliers and local distributors to strengthen their distribution mechanism
  • Building capacity of community members, particularly women, to oversee the whole distribution process
  • Support families in attaining supplementary income