Khiri Reach Clean Water Project in Myanmar
Access to clean water is a basic human need. While Myanmar has made significant strides to develop their nation, 17 million people still do not have access to clean water. Many rural regions in Myanmar, nicknamed the Dry Zone around Bagan, often suffer from 3-4 months of water shortages as droughts continue on every year. By constructing a water supply system, entire communities receive fresh water for the daily cooking, drinking, and washing.
Since 2014, Khiri Reach has built 33 water wells in rural Myanmar. These basic yet vital wells, which include a pump and collection tank, provide clean water for entire villages in numerous poverty-stricken areas.
Before a well is built, a Water Committee is set up in each village and carefully selects a location for the bore well. Traditionally in Myanmar, every village has its own committee and fund, so Khiri Reach’s program integrates smoothly into the affected areas. As all the key-players and decision-makers are involved every step of the way, we also advise them on how to save funds in case they need money to repair the well or maintain the pump, fix the collection tank, etc.
The Water Committee is taught how to determine appropriate rates from every person using the water well – the small surcharge (about $0.10 cents/100Kyats per family per day) is sufficient in maintaining the water works. Compare this with walking every day to the rivers, struggling to fetch a few liters of water back to their homes: the whole ordeal could take hours each day. Below are some of the villages which now have access to fresh water.
Mya Kan Village has been experiencing drier weather conditions in the last few years with the Ayeyarwaddy River running very low: this has had an impact on the water quality nearby. People couldn’t drink that water anymore. Now, with the water well, the whole village has access to affordable and clean drinking water.
In Kyauk Kone Village, Ma Aye Hla breeds goats as her main source of income. She has had difficulties getting enough water for both her family and her goats: it takes her two hours to get just four buckets of water every day. Since installing the new water well, she can easily get clean water. According to her, she is “the happiest person in the world!”. The water well now provides fresh water for 300 households.
When we met Ko Paw San, he had to give up his farm to work as a waiter in Bagan, due to water shortages. After the water well was donated to his village, he could finally return home and resume farming on his original family plot. He’s extremely grateful for everyone who has been involved bringing water back to his village: he can finally be a farmer again, and earning enough for him and his family. The water well in Baw Lone Kyun Village provides water for 250 people today.