Access to water and livelihood opportunities: crucial for people in Dry Zone

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16 March 2013, Magway – Access to water is crucial for communities in Dry Zone of Myanmar as the visiting members of the Executive Boards of UN funds and programme were able to witness during the second day of their field trip on Central Myanmar.

In Kyaut Ta Gar village, Yezagyo township, the members of the Executive Boards of UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS, UNICEF, UN-Women and WFP visited a dam, which was repaired with support by WFP through its cooperating partner Organisation of Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement. Together with improved irrigation channels which take water to nearby crop fields, the project allowed villagers to raise paddy harvest yields and ensure reliable water supply. The support was implemented as part of WFP’s food-for-work programme.

In Than Bo village, Pakokku township, the delegation observed new water supply and deep tube well provided by Adventist Relief and Development Agency through Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund administered by UNOPS. In addition to supporting village infrastructure, the project also aims to support sustainable livelihoods by encouraging income-generating activities and capacity building of prospective village entrepreneurs.

Delegation of Executive Boards of UN agencies visiting Dry Zone include representatives of Bulgaria, Colombia, Czech Republic, India, Latvia, South Africa and Sweden. They are accompanied on the trip by Toily Kurbanov, UNDP Country Director in Myanmar and Sanjay Mathur, UNOPS Myanmar Representative. The delegation will conclude their three day trip on Saturday visiting UNDP’s integrated community development project in Pakokku township. Joint field visit by the Executive Boards of UN agencies in Myanmar has started earlier this week with the main objective to take stock of ongoing activities by the UN development system in Myanmar and its strategic positioning to support the country’s reforms and achievement of national development priorities.