Recordings and materials from our 13 December 2021 webinar on:  Community participation in WaSH projects in Myanmar: a path to resilience during COVID-19 and the coup                                                                                          


The Oxfam/SI programme, which supports the majority of Rohingya camps in Rakhine has released a Handbook with lessons learned on delivering  WASH services in a protracted emergency, particularly in the context of a human rights crisis. 

©HARP-F partner

A few things we have learned from our WaSH programmes in Myanmar...

As the only funding mechanism providing multi-year funding for WaSH in Myanmar, we have looked at what we can learn from this approach in Rakhine and Kachin/Northern Shan, and whether it can be adopted in other WaSH programmes in Myanmar, in other sectors, and in other countries. What we know so far:

  1. HARP-F & partners have continued to deliver through COVID & the coup with an increased focus on community management of WaSH infrastructures in Rakhine and more community ownership in Kachin
  2. Multi-year funding has contributed to community ownership in Rakhine
  3. Multi-year funding helped improve capacity of local organisations in Kachin/NSS.

WaSH in numbers

314,653 conflicted- affected people accessed WaSH services

£22.4 million of grants for WaSH activities, including specific COVID-19 prevention

82% of all IDPs in camps in Rakhine receive essential WASH services, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

What our partners are doing - Example

HARP-F partners

Delivering WaSH services during the Rohingya human rights crisis

The OXFAM-SI programme reaches 82% of all IDPs in camps in Rakhine with essential WASH services. The programme favoured community-led processes and has been particularly vigilant during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a principled humanitarian response throughout.  Oxfam/SI have supported the creation of camp based committees and built the capacity of camp based staff so that they are almost autonomous and all basic repair and maintenance activities can run via camp based staff. Additional technical support by WASH advisors has been provided remotely via regular calls and exchange of photos of infrastructure etc. One of the aims for the programme this year is to trial even more localised approaches.

Many of the programme’s approaches to engage communities, increase their self-reliance and hand over the management of the WaSH infrastructure to them have been adopted as the standard for initiatives by WaSH humanitarian actors in Rakhine. 

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IDPs take over food distribution and WASH activities in 25 camps during the COVID-19 pandemic

One of HARP-F national partners is working with IDPs in the Kachin and Northern Shan states of Myanmar since April 2009 to support their safe and dignified return and resettlement. The project has been providing food, cash assistance and safe and equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to over 24,000 IDPs in 25 camps in Kachin and Northern Shan. But beyond this immediate relief, the project is incorporating strategies to reduce IDPs’ dependency on food aid and build their resilience – an approach that has proven particularly valuable during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Building on its work to promote community engagement and ownership of the response, our partner has reformed the camp food committees through 2020 to put them in charge of food distribution and started a similar process wit the camp WASH committees, strengthening their capacity to conduct hygiene awareness sessions and run the WASH maintenance activities.  Read more

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