ACT member Church World Service (CWS) Myanmar has brought hope to communities in Myanmar that were severely affected by floods in 2017. CWS Myanmar in partnership with Felissimo, a Japanese company, have reconstructed 10 and renovated 75 of the houses that were severely affected by the floods.
With the aim of constructing safer houses, tin roofs and hygienic elevated latrines were installed. The tin roofing provides families with greater protection during the rainy season. The elevated latrines allow families to access the facilities at all times of day and have hindered the spread of diseases related to poor hygiene.
“With these new latrines, we do not feel afraid of snakes or insect bites because we do not have to go to the forest in the night-time or during the rainy season,” said a community member.
Forty-year-old U Tun Naing lives with his wife and their seven children. They are one of the families prioritised by the village leaders to benefit from the assistance of CWS Myanmar. U Tun Naing has suffered two strokes and is unable to work. While his wife and four of their children work as labourers, the family is poor and have a difficult time covering U Tun Naing’s medical bills.
U Tun Naing’s daughter expressed her gratitude for the elevated latrines, “I am so happy to have a clean latrine. We had an unsafe latrine with deteriorating walls and I did not feel good going to the toilet because I was afraid someone would see me.”
“I especially did not want to use the toilet when I had my menstrual period, so I always waited until it was dark to use the latrine and this was really dangerous. This safe and secure latrine is a precious gift to me. I really want all my girlfriends to have hygienic latrines too. My whole family is proud to have a good latrine,” she continued.
The CWS Myanmar team is supporting communities to maintain their dignity. More hygienic living conditions allow families to get on with priorities including work and education without worrying about sickness due to conditions of poor hygiene. The response of CWS Myanmar has also facilitated awareness-raising on personal hygiene and disease prevention.