National WASH Coalition
Myanmar joined the WASH campaign in 2002. The following year the WSSCC National Coordinator, based in the government’s Central Health Education Bureau, developed a WASH programme that aims to speak for WASH in Myanmar and to mobilize communities. More specifically it seeks to organize women and youth groups to participate in the global WASH campaign. It also cooperates with international sector agencies.
The top priority of the WASH programme is hygiene promotion through a community self-help approach. It encourages partnerships and gives priority to hygiene as a very cost-effective approach to improved sanitation and health.
Milestones and achievements
In 2009 and 2010, the coalition has worked to strengthen systems so that the community-based WASH promotion programme can be implemented. The programme is reaching 100 townships and is supported by various international agencies. It includes media coverage and TV commercials. It ensures that major events such as Global Handwashing Day and World Water Day are observed nationwide.
In the aftermath of the terrible Nargis cyclone in 2008, the coalition ensured specific messages on climate change and disaster preparation reached communities that needed them.
During the International Year of Sanitation in 2008 the informal WASH network:
- secured the agreement of the Minister of Health to launch IYS
- campaigned in 30 communities, focusing on universal access to latrines, and supported efforts to solve WASH issues in areas affected by the cyclone.