Why is the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project is needed?
We work with Karen communities to address the critical health challenges they face due to their lack of access to antiquate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.
Despite access to WASH facilities being a human right, 40% of Karen communities in Mae Hong Son still lack access to adiquate drinking water and waste disposal.
This makes Karen communities vulnerable to many preventable diseases including diarrhea, typhoid, stomach ulcers and parasitic worms. It is estimated that 48% of Karen children are infected with intestinal worms.
Frequent or chronic infections can also cause impaired growth and brain development contributing to reduced performance levels. Poor health can result in low enrollment, attendance, and retention rates lead to poor long-term educational and livelihood outcomes, helping continue the cycle of poverty.
“Before the project, we had problems in all seasons. Now we have water all of the year. We have diarrhoea, but not very often, Typhoid is very rare in the village now. Since we have the project, life is more comfortable.Norlay, Karen villager
We are one of the few organisations working in this region, reaching out to the poorest and most isolated communities. KHT installs innovative gravity-fed clean water systems, builds and repairs sanitation units and provides hygiene education sessions.
Read more below about what our WASH projects involve, how to work to be sustainable and our impact on Karen communities.
What is the WASH Project?
KHT’s WASH projects consist of three main sections: the installation of a clean water system; building and repairing of sanitation units; and the provision of hygiene education sessions. We work closely with Karen communities to tailor our WASH projects to fit their needs. Keep reading to find out more!
Install a Clean Water System
Many Karen communities lack reliable access to a safe, year-round supply of water. As a result, villages are forced to consume unsafe water which can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, parasites and chemical runoff from farmland. Frequent diarrhea, stomach ulcers and parasitic infections means communities are face with poor health with further impacts on education and livelihoods.
Our experienced Karen construction team work with volunteers from the communities to plan, install and maintain an innovative gravity-fed water system.
This means communities no longer have to drink unsafe water, improving their health and develop the skills needed to ensure its long-term sustainability.Read more about how our water systems work
Build and Repair Latrines
Poor sanitation and waste disposal means sewage can cause ill health through lack of handwashing facilities and through the contamination of water sources with bacteria and parasites.
During our WASH projects our Karen construction team work with the community to repair and install sanitation units. These units include a pour-flush latrine, tap for washing and showering, soap and cleaning materials.
As a result, communities can improve their health through maintaining good sanitation units and breaking the transmission of many harmful diseases.
Hygiene education is key to creating long-term behavior change.
Our Karen team deliver engaging and participatory demonstrations, presentations and talks with communities throughout the WASH project. The team uses educational materials and posters which are then displayed around the village.
The topics we focus on are the importance of handwashing, handwashing technique, key points to handwash and good latrine and sanitation practices.
The sessions equip villagers of all ages with the knowledge and understanding to make changes on an individual level to health improve their community’s health for generations to come.
So what’s the impact of our WASH projects for the villages we work with?
- Increased access to water and sanitation for all community members
- Improved health outcomes
- Increased community ownership and project sustainability through the creation of a water committee and community fund
- Decreased time missed off school or work due to illness or water collection meaning increased long-term opportunities though education and livelihoods
We’ve highlighted a few key stats below! Or, to read more about the our impact or to hear directly from some of our WASH projects beneficiaries, click the links below.Case Stories
WASH Project Stats
Water Systems Installed
Latrines built or repaired
Making our projects sustainable is hugely important to us at KHT; we want the benefits of our projects to continue through generations. That’s why we’ve designed our work alongside the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to include several activities to help create lasting change. The SDGs we work towards through our WASH projects are highlighted in colour in this image but we’ve here are some of our main sustainability activities:
- We involve the community throughout the process of our projects to make sure the design meets their needs
- We help create a water committee in each village who can repair and maintain the water system and sanitation units
- We help communities establish a community fund for repair and maintenance
- We provide hygiene education sessions for all age groups so everyone can take ownership and responsibility for the long-term changes needed to improve their hygiene practices
Interested in getting involved?
Feel inspired to get involved?
There are many ways you can support our work: Become a monthly donor, fundraise to one of our projects but also volunteer!
As a water volunteer you help increase access to clean water for Karen communities in Mae Hong Son, helping to improve their health.
To find out more on how you can get involved, click on the links belowVolunteer on a Water Project Get Involved!