Myanmar

New family latrines welcomed by displaced families: UNICEF project provides hygiene and security for displaced families [EN/MY]

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By Ko Cho (ADRA Myanmar)

A new household latrine has transformed daily life for 62-year-old Daw Naw Oo and her family.

“Now that we have our own latrine near our house, it is much more convenient,” said Daw Naw Oo.

She and the eight other members of her family, including her 25-year-old disabled son, live in a resettlement area inside a camp for internally displaced people (IDP), in Hlaingbwe Township, Kayin State. It is one of the largest camps in the area.

“When we first arrived here, we had to use a communal latrine and it took more than five minutes to get there, and sometimes I had to wait and queue for my turn,” she continued. “Cleanliness was also very poor because no one wants to be accountable for communal latrines.”

Daw Naw Oo’s family had to leave their home in the Hlaingbwe Township - one of thousands forced to flee from clashes between armed groups that first began in 2016.

They ended up at the Myaing Gyi Ngu camp in 2019.

In October 2021, UNICEF and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Myanmar, began a new humanitarian project in the camp, where there were only communal latrines for camp residents.

A member of the camp committee explained, “The new semi-permanent latrines are constructed for individual families. They last much longer and provide better hygiene than the communal latrines as fewer people use them.”

“The new latrines give us the privacy and security that we need,” said Daw Naw Oo.

The UNICEF-supported WASH project has built 248 household latrines, benefitting around 1,877 people, including Daw Naw Oo and her family.