Thailand, Asia

THA06d - ITDF - Village water project

Partnership Ref.:



Mike Mann - ITDP



Funding Status:

Fully Funded

Partnership Type:

Community / Agriculture Development

Funding Size:

$8,000 - $14,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 11,000

Potential Budget:

US$ 100,000

Connected To:

THA06a , THA06b , THA06c


Population: 68.1 million

Life Expectancy: 68.7 years

GDP: US$4116 per capita

Unemployed: 1.2%

11.5% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

30 families are being assisted

Partnership Overview

It is estimated that most hill tribes in Thailand and its surrounding regions are living below $350 annual income. That is less than $ 1/day. There are still many areas that government and non-government organizations have left untouched, pulled out too soon, and/or never made a lasting positive impact on the village.  These gaps still need substantial development assistance.  

Water shortages are increasing as a result of global warming and other climatic/environmental factors.  Villagers continue to ask for assistance with establishing new systems and expanding old ones, as a consequence of nearby water sources drying up, village population’s increasing and/or villages being relocated to new areas. Also, villagers that once were able to collect water from nearby streams, springs and shallow wells can no longer do so on account of these sources becoming polluted by chemicals in addition to human and animal waste. Governments are declaring many of the watersheds off limits to hill tribes while in other areas the private sector have taken control of village water sources.

It has been quoted, "Access to improved water supply is not only a fundamental need and human right, it also has considerable health and economic benefits to households and individuals".

Usually with the lack of water comes the problem of sanitation/hygiene.   If there is a water shortage villagers will wash hands, wash utensils/dishes, and bathe less frequently, especially if the source is some distance from the village. 

Hard workData representing 94% of the Asian population suggest that only 48% of the population has sanitation coverage, by far the lowest of any region of the world. The situation is even worse in rural areas, where only 31% of the population has improved sanitation, compared with 78% coverage in urban areas. 

Village sanitation problems are rising mostly due to increases in village populations and methods used in raising livestock (free roaming in village), capital (toilets/bathroom material), water shortages and hygiene education.  Villagers without toilets will normally use nearby shrubs/trees and in some cases a hole in the ground.  Using trees/shrubs is of course not well suited for children as well as adults who are not wearing shoes, and/or livestock that feed on the faeces.   Both scenarios can cause tremendous health problems not just to the village population but also to livestock and the meat consumer. 

Most hill tribes in Thailand and surrounding regions still do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. And, because they are poor, do not have the knowledge/experience in design and construction, and are not afforded the same opportunities as local Thai, they are powerless in establishing such facilities. The Integrated Tribal Development Foundation (ITDF) is seeking to do something about this situation.  

Providing clean water and proper toilets/bathrooms will significantly decrease water borne and other diseases among villagers, especially diseases that can easily infect babies and small children.  Water can also be provided to start ponds and raise fish as a protein supplement and for irrigating village vegetable gardens.  

History of Partnership

Resource poorSince 1990 the Integrated Tribal Development Foundation has assisted hill tribe people to cope with the many changes that have taken place in their livelihoods. Mostly through small projects providing special assistance with the construction of drinking water and irrigation systems, delivery and management of tree crops for subsistence farming and income generation, fish farming, establishing a Fair-Trade labelling Organization International coffee cooperative, self-help groups, and assisting Lahu hostels in areas of capacity building and sustainability.

To date, in addition to aiding minority groups in Thailand, ITDF is assisting other countries in the region, organizations in Burma, China and Laos are also asking ITDF to assist in the construction of water and irrigation systems, agricultural extension and in training.  More than 250 villages and 6 tribal groups have received assistance from ITDF.

Bright Hope World's association with ITDF commenced in 2005 when we started buying coffee from them and importing it to New Zealand.  It is exciting to now be able to partner with them in other aspects of their ministry.

New water tankBeneficiaries

The project will mainly target hill tribe (ethnic minority) villages in Northern Thailand emphasizing villages in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hon Song and Tak provinces. ITDF will assist these villages according to needs, not religion, gender, social status, or tribe. The selection process will be similar to ITDF’s former projects.   

What We Like About The Partnership

ITDF's vision is to: 
“Be Christ-like, glorify God in all the earth by crossing cultural boundaries to make disciples of Jesus Christ”.  “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6: 2, 10).

ITDF puts Christian love into action and work very hard at trying to meet the needs of the disadvantaged /resource-poor in an holistic way.


Key People

Mann familyLeadership Profile

Mike and Becky Mann have been providing support to the hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand and surrounding regions since 1990. Mike is from America and is a global consultant for rural development.  He serves as director of Integrated Tribal Development Foundation in Thailand, in addition to consulting around the world. Becky Mann helps tribal farmers and women's groups, and works with parents of special needs children. She also works with Integrated Tribal Development, helping to market Thai coffee. They have four children, Richard, Melanie, Ryan and Robert.


Vision And Annual Strategy


To improve the general health of villagers by assisting in the prevention of water and soil borne diseases due to poor sanitation and hygiene. To increase a family’s income through awareness building, increased community participation, and obtaining better agricultural yields.  And in addition to develop environment sound practices with all initiated activities. 

much neededObjectives:

Drinking Water and Sanitation 
- Improve hygiene/sanitation and health practices in villages through proper training in addition to assisting in the construction of proper water and sanitation facilities.

- Improved agricultural income through small irrigation schemes.


Annual Budget

Water Systems

Most of the water systems are gravity flow utilizing small springs and streams located above villages.  These streams cam be several miles away.  All systems constructed are appropriate for remote areas and include a small dam, PVC piping (buried), sand / charcoal / rock filter, storage tank and taps for family access.  They should last for more then 50 years. 

Cost:  US$6,600 per village (one time cost)

Sanitation Systems

All bathrooms will have a squat toilet and a place for bathing.   Local materials and cement are used, nothing is imported.   Each family will have their own bathroom and septic tank.  Water from the water systems is used in these bathrooms. 

Cost:  US$5,500 per village (one time cost)



“We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation and basic health care.”

Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General