On Saturday June 1st, 2013, Pact Myanmar hosted a visit by H.E. Dr. Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin, Union Minister of Social Welfare, to Kan Taw village in Pakokku Township. The visit marked the first for a cabinet-level official to a Pact project site since Pact began operations in the country in 1997.
Pact Senior Regional Coordinator Dr. Wynn Thane shows Union Minister H.E. Dr. Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin one of many bio-sand filters constructed by villagers in Kan Taw village.
The Union Minister met with community beneficiaries of the “Shae Thot” project, a five-year humanitarian assistance project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Pact and four partner organizations.
In Kan Taw village, Pact has partnered with UN-HABITAT to bring clean water and improve hygiene and sanitation for it’s over 2,600 residents. Since the project began in October 2011, it has built the capacity of the local community to manage their own development process and implement infrastructure projects with technical assistance from UN-HABITAT. Improvements include pond renovation, and installation of rainwater collection tanks, latrines, and bio-sand filters.
Saturday’s visit also included a special ceremony during which H.E. Dr. Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin presented grants to two local community-based organizations that run a nursery and home for the elderly in the area. Funded by the government, the Union Minister emphasized the importance of cooperation between the Government of Burma and international organizations such as Pact. She also encouraged the villagers to take ownership of poverty issues in their community.