Myanmar - Shan State - Pan Lawt PWS Extension
© arche noVa

Myanmar (Burma): Health, education, disaster preparedness and self-government in Shan State

Since 1948 Myanmar has repeatedly been disrupted by military conflicts. In the region of Shan State in the northern part of the country the armed struggles between the governmental troops and diverse rebel militias have worsened the living conditions of the civil population immensely.
A third of the population is living below the poverty line.

arche noVa is active in Shan State since November 2013, cooperating with our local partner organisation Sopyay Myanmar Development Organization (SMDO) to support the inhabitance with the reconstruction of the local infrastructure, the implementation of water, sanitary and hygiene measures and expertise in matters of disaster prevention.
Myanmar (Burma)
Simple World Map - Author: Al MacDonald Editor: Fritz Lekschas License: CC BY-SA 3.0 ID: ISO 3166-1 or "_[a-zA-Z]" if an ISO code is not available


The project activities of arche noVa in Myanmar are currently suspended in all regions.

Despite the signing of the national peacy treaty in October 2015, fights have regularly broken out in northern Shan State. Due to the armed conflicts between the nation’s military (Tat Ma Daw) and various ethnic armed groups a huge part of the region’s infrastructure has been destroyed. Additionally the conflict has caused massive flight movements, which strain the already crumbling infrastructure in the region even further.

Improving the health situation

Caused by a missing knowledge about hygiene on-site and a lacking and due to the conflict even more destroyed water- and sanitary supply, the risk is huge that water-induced diseases can spread. Solitary and contaminated water sourced as well as missing waste disposal systems in the communities are a severe health risk for the local population.

For improving the situation arche noVa constructs and rehabilitates water systems with our partners. For the maintenance of those water supply systems a special payment system will be introduced. Furthermore, in common work with the members of the community, toilets and hand washing sinks are built. A plan for cleaning and maintenance guarantees that the system can be kept in a good state for a longer time. Additionally each community will be equipped with hygiene articles. Hygiene trainings will be held too, as well as trainings for hygiene commissioners whose task will be to enlighten the people about hygienic acting and to be the contact person even after the project has ended. Also a secure and environmentally fair waste disposal system will add up to better hygiene conditions in the communities. The financing of the measures will be long-term ensured by a founded village development fund.  


Rehabilitation of schools

Not only the water and sanitary systems have suffered under the armed struggles, but also schools have been affected by the military fights. arche noVa organises the reconstruction and equips the schools with toilets, water systems, washing possibilities and waste disposal systems. Housing for the teaching staff is going to be constructed and they are going to receive knowledge in hygiene trainings to eventually hand over to their students

Developing structures for self-government

In the communities village development committees will be founded, whose future task will be to represent the interests of the community and to plan and implement smaller projects to improve the basic infrastructure in the village, for example the construction of roads and bridges. The members of the committees will be trained intensely on the topic of project management.

In a specific village development plan worked out commonly, the village’s community will define the first projects and their implementation. A fund financed by small fees of each member of the community guarantees the success of the projects and strengthens the feeling of responsibility for everybody. To improve the situation also in longer terms, the communication between the particular villages and the local authorities has to be consolidated. That is why we promote the interlinking with the official authorities.

Reducing the impact of catastrophes

Myanmar is one of the world’s most endangered countries by natural disasters. In the last ten years the country has been hit by earthquakes, cyclone, floodings and one tsunami. Solely cyclone “Nargis” caused over 130.000 casualties in southern Myanmar in 2008. Prognoses attest the region in the near future worsening living conditions due to the climate change.

To empower the communities’ self-aid capacities and natural resistance in a case of emergency, a communal catastrophe management plan will be developed. Included will be locally defined measures like for example the installation of early-warning mechanisms, evacuation concepts and ways and the lending of information material.The members of the village development committees and the catastrophe preparedness commissioners of each community will be familiarised with the concepts and ideas of disaster prevention in a number of training units.
With the school children we will perform evacuation simulations and awareness-raising measures to sensitise them for the possibilities of securing them and their environments.

To be prepared for the case of emergency, evacuation trainings will be held, community members will be training to be first-aid responders and the cooperation with the local fire fighters will be improved. We are producing learning material in the local languages for schools, communities and public institutions. Additionally we will construct rain water collection tanks on municipal and school level to be able to supply as many families as possible with water in such cases.

To successfully implement the means of arche noVa in Shan State, we are tuning our activities with the local authorities and other organisations working in this area to achieve more together.

With a donation for arche noVa you support our work in Shan and give a perspective for people in need.

Donate for this project

You help that first aid courses can be offered.
Your contribution to the construction of school toilets.
With this help water systems can be built.

Project Overview

  • Improvement of the health situation by a fair and equal access to water, secure sanitary facilities and hygiene knowledge
  • Improvement of the learning environment for pupils by an enhanced access to schools including sanitary facilities
  • Consolidation of the communities by the development of self-government structures
  • Improved capacities in disaster preparedness and catastrophe management empower communities’ resistance and reduce the impacts of natural disasters
Target Group
  • 8,000-10,000 persons from 1,500 households
  • Installation of water systems (gravity-flow pipe water supply systems, wells, hand and solar pump systems, water basins)
  • Training of WASH commissioners
  • Construction of household toilets
  • Hygiene trainings and distribution of hygiene articles
  • Establishment of waste incineration places
  • Construction of schools with water access, sanitary facilities and playgrounds
  • Establishment and training of WASH clubs in schools
  • Distribution of chairs, tables and teaching material
  • Development and realization of village development plans for each community
  • Establishment and training of village development committees
  • Support of communities in implementation of small projects
  • Building, training and equipment of catastrophe management committees including first aid trainings
  • Preparation and implementation of disaster prevention plans for specific requirements of each community
  • Preparation of teaching material and catastrophe trainings in communities and schools
  • Construction of rain water collection tanks for an emergency water supply
  • Interlinking of established village structures with the government structures on district level
November 2017 – estimated October 2020
Co-operation partners

SMDO (Sopyay Myanmar Development Organization)


Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)