We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

Clean water for rural Burmese villagers

We want to provide fresh drinking water for villagers (especially children) in remote areas of the Irrawaddy delta region of Myanmar (Burma). In the dry season they are forced to drink contaminated water. By drilling wells and providing pumps we can help thousands of people to heather lives.

January 2016 - May 2016

Charity information: Helping The Burmese Delta

Helping The Burmese Delta logo
  • Need


    Virtually no rain falls in Myanmar between November and May, and obtaining clean drinking water becomes a major problem, causing frequent stomach problems and some more serious complaints.

    Although rainwater can be collected in the rainy season, this is not sufficient to last, and gradually becomes contaminated by algae.

    The villagers either have to drink dirty water (the rivers are saline), or purchase clean water from boats which come round, but this is too expensive for most.


    By drilling wells and providing pumps, the villages will have a continuous supply of fresh water. Our charity has already completed 8 wells, but in a region where there are hundreds of villages there is much still to do.

    We have set up a system with the village committees whereby they appoint someone to look after the well and the engine,who also collects a small amount of money from the users to pay for diesel and repairs. People from other villages are also able to collect water.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To identify suitable villages and negotiate the project with the village committees.


    » We already know these communities since we have built schools there, so our Burmese team will carry out this work.

    What success will look like

    Success will be indicated by an appropriate list of villages which agree to participate and maintain the well and pump.

    Aim 2

    To drill the wells, install the pumps, and check the water quality.


    » We already have a team of contractors who know the area and have drilled there before, so they and our team will take care of this.

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown by successful wells providing much needed clean water. It should be noted that because the rivers are saline, these wells need to be very deep (200 metres).

  • Impact


    Apart from the obvious benefits to health and well being, having a well averts the need to purchase drinking water. For these very poor people (most earn £1 - £2 a day when they have work), that is a major benefit. We will check anecdotally with the villagers whether or not they perceive a health improvement in terms of fewer digestive complaints. It is very difficult in this environment to make more formal evaluations.


    The main risk is that the drillers fail to strike clean water, because a percentage of wells do fail. One of our existing villages found salt water even at maximum depth, but the great majority have been successful.

    The other risk is that the village fails to take care of the well, but the system we have put in place, and their strong motivation to avoid such problems, should avoid this.


    We report regularly to donors via the website, Facebook, and newsletters. We are happy to report individually to major donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,000 Drilling 8 wells Contractors fees
      £1,000 Management Project team travel expenses

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trustee £2,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is located around the village of Yay Kyaw Toe, which is deep in the delta in the area devastated by Cyclone Nargis in 2008. There are no roads, no electricity, no health care, and great poverty. The villages around Yay Kyaw Toe are several hours travel from the nearest town.


    Each village has around 300 - 500 people. They rely on rice farming and fishing, but most are landless day labourers. This is the second poorest region in Myanmar, itself the poorest country in SE Asia.

    Because each well will also serve neighbouring villages, we estimate that this project will provide clean water for over 5000 people.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have worked in this area since 2008, and have a very strong track record of successfully improving education through school building and running our high school. In addition, we have trained traditional birth attendants to help improve maternal and child health and avoid deaths and complications.

    We know the villagers, and they know and trust us to deliver.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    May Tha-Hla

    May is a founder of the charity and is bi-lingual and bi-cultural. She will supervise our Burrmese team and oversee the project.

The drilling site

The drilling site


Provides clean water for fifty children