We had the opportunity to meet with Thirst Aid program director, Thin Nwe Soe for an interview at her office. In the interview, we talked about training and education programs that have been granted by Thirst Aid.

Thirst-Aid encourages education and knowledge as the principal tools for improved water quality to come from within the public. To help fund the Monastery/Orphanage Project and the Water Vendor Project, Direct Relief International and Thirst-Aid are working together on that Project to create a water purification cart that will allow Myanmar's traditional water vendors to bring safe water to households.

Education Training and Knowledge Sharing Background

Thirst-Aid integrates the need to educate and inspire the ambition to improve water with the beneficiaries' desire to be a stakeholder. Thin stated that by offering education and training program about Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) concepts, citizens in Myanmar become more aware of water-borne diseases and better hygiene. Not only inhabitants in rural regions but also in urban regions, some people are lack of WASH knowledge and cleansing around the environment. Noted that for the first time ever, rural WASH and a corresponding investment plan were launched in Nay Pyi Taw, 16 February 2017.

WASH training program in rural region

Since April 2017, Thirst Aid has been contributing to monthly WASH training and education programs in diverse regions and they have already done training and sessions in 10 different regions, including many suburbs in Yangon, South Dagon and additionally Magway, Bago, Mandalay and so on. These training programs are aim at primary students, farmers, fishermen, and rural dwellers who desperately need to know more about hygiene education. Food hygiene, hand-washing, latrines, safe water and such rudimentary knowledge required in countryside. It is very clear that the way they give their training programs is dynamic and responsive, not sitting and listening all-day.

Water is life and clean water means health

Clean water ought to exist both in terms of quantity and quality. Considering between those criteria, Thirst Aid chooses the latter one as to improve the water quality is first priority, Thin passionately claims. To get to know about safe and clean water, extensive knowledge, such as water treatment technologies, water related diseases and contamination of sources of water are the objectives of Thirst-Aid training sessions.

Water Campaign – Myanmar

Not only giving training program but also do knowledge sharing via Facebook page are part of their daily activities the "Water Campaign – Myanmar " Facebook page provides water-related knowledge in Burmese language. Most of their knowledge sharing posts, trivia and facts are derived from websites, reference books and articles by giving credit to original author. Water shortage crisis, water pollution, the importance of proper sewage canal, restoration of water cycle, climate change, clean water act and recycle method of grey water ought to be known for improving general knowledge about water in Myanmar.

Challenges

Since WASH training programs are not wide-spread in Myanmar, Thin would like to contribute or give this specific knowledge to people who can distribute their information in their environment. Everyone ought to get involved in this training program to adopt the proper daily lifestyle and habits. Fundamentally, dwellers living alongside the river and in rural areas are more likely to ignore health of river and water quality.

About Ceramic Water Filter (CWF) and Thirst-aid

Thirst-Aid initiated developing a Ceramic Water Filter (CWF) industry in Myanmar in June of 2006. CWF's, currently used in over 20 countries, are enormously effective at reducing waterborne illnesses, are simple in design, easy to use, can be manufactured in country with local resources, and provide excellent income generation opportunities.

In response to Cyclone Nargis alone, this industry has worked with INGOs to produce, sell, and distribute over 90,000 CWFs, providing a population of nearly half a million people with safe water and hence greatly improved health.