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Myanmar, Asia

MYA07 - ITDF Water Resource and Sanitation Development Project

Partnership Ref.:



Mike Mann - ITDP



Funding Status:

Completed - No Funding Required

Partnership Type:

Community / Agriculture Development

Funding Size:

$8,000 - $14,999

Annual Budget:


Connected To:



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Funding Contact:

No funding required


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Population: 50.5 million

Life Expectancy: 61.2 years

GDP: US$446 per capita

Unemployed: 5.7%

unknown% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

Two villages

Partnership Overview

no clean waterA large number of villages in Myanmar still do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. And, because they are poor they do not have the knowledge/experience in design and construction to establish such facilities. The Integrated Tribal Development Foundation (ITDF) is seeking to do something about this situation as villagers continue to ask for assistance because they either lack a clean water supply or are able to get some water but the supply is not adequate, they need to walk long distances or the water is not clean/safe. The majority of households in these villages lack toilets and washing clothes or taking a bath are privileges they do not have. 

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. Data 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. 

desperate need for waterVillage 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 which of course is not well suited for children, or 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. 

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.  

History of Partnership

Since 1990 ITDF has assisted hill tribe people in Thailand to cope with the many changes that have taken place in their livelihoods (THA06). 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.

More recently ITDF has started assisting other countries in the region with organizations in Myanmar, China and Laos asking them to assist in the construction of water and irrigation systems, agricultural extension and in training.  

Bright Hope World's association with ITDF commenced in 2005 when we started buying coffee from them and importing it to New Zealand (LaMai coffee).  In 2011 we began partnering with them in their village water projects in Northern Thailand (THA06d) and it is exciting to now be able to extend this partnership into Myanmar.  

would change livesBeneficiaries

ITDF will look to implement its Water Resource and Sanitation Development Project in villages near Lashio, a large town in the north of Shan State. 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 in Thailand.    

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 fulfil 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

Leadership Profile

making a differenceMike 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, increase community participation, and obtaining better agricultural yields. And, to develop environment sound practices with all initiated activities.



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 can 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 than 50 years.

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$14,850 per village (one time cost) 


Personal Testimony

Real "Life Change" Stories

much needConstruction of a mountain water supply and sanitation systems in the villages of Ban Loy Pae and Ban No Kio (done in 2018) have enabled people in these villages to have access to an adequate and year-round clean water supply, and hygienic toilet/bathroom facilities at home. As a result, the villagers now have more time available for making a livelihood and can enjoy an improved quality of life. 

Many other communities, having heard about the transformation in these villages, have made a request for similar assistance from ITDF. Currently four villages have been selected for assistance that have no opportunity to get state provided public services. These are:
Ban Pang Pa - population 340 with 65 households 
Ban Shao Jee - population 260 with 53 households 
Ban Nam Jin - population 160 with 26 households
Ban Loy Ngu - population 220 with 44 households

As soon as ITDF has funds available they will look to commence their WRSD programme in these villages. 


“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