The current Myanmar crisis is proving that SkyHydrants continue to offer versatile, safe water solutions for communities with varying needs and circumstances. The systems have long been used globally for emergency and disaster response by NGO’s and government partners alike.

Like in many previous events, and now at the current humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, providing the displaced communities with basic human rights, such as reliable access to safe water, have not come without its challenges. The situation in Myanmar is extremely unstable, with indiscriminate air and on-ground attacks, raids and arrests. It is estimated that over 800 people have been killed since the latest military coup on 1 February 2021, and thousands beaten, injured or maimed. (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners; 2021 Coup Daily Briefings, April 20, 2021

SkyJuice has a long association with projects in Myanmar. SkyHydrants have been deployed in Myanmar communities for over 15 years, and several additional installations took place during the flood crisis ten years ago. Two installations were previously located in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. These SkyHydrants have now been moved to an area in Thailand where people are seeking refuge. 

Fleur Maidment from Safe Water for Every Child – Myanmar project said, “We are mainly working in the remote mountains of Karen State, where attacks on ethnic people were commonplace from the end of WWII up to the ceasefire in 2012. The ongoing civil war has meant there is little or no development in the area, and it is riddled with land mines. Many of the villages can only be accessed by foot, making it extremely slow and difficult to transport equipment. Over 95% of water sources we have tested to have E. coli levels above the WHO standards for drinking water, and open defecation is prevalent.” 

While the displaced communities have been very appreciative of the SkyHydrants, they have never been able to secure any hard data from the Karen Department of Health and Welfare about the benefits of having safe drinking water in the camp. Nevertheless, anecdotally, they have recorded hardly any diarrhea and cholera cases since the installations.

“After fleeing from the camp, a large number of people were experiencing diarrhoea. Our caretakers were able to disassemble the SkyHydrants and then re-assemble them for emergency use in Thailand,” Fleur confirmed. “In December, our team had installed two SkyHydrants in the village of Dae Bu Noh; one at the high school, and one at the medical centre. Both buildings have since been hit by airstrikes, but amazingly, the SkyHydrants were still intact. The community has since taken these SkyHydrants with them to Thailand to enable these people to be self-sufficient at a camp where both food and safe water are scarce.”

“We know the SkyHydrants have proven to be extremely useful and adaptable in the remote conditions. During the training, we discussed how the SkyHydrants could be moved if the indigenous people were attacked, and now this is an essential protocol. This is a huge advantage over conventional safe water solutions,” Fleur continued.

In unstable circumstances, it is important that the caretakers can shift their SkyHydrants to aid the communities ‘on the run’. Traditional means of purifying water, such as boiling, are not feasible when resources are scarce and unreliable, and the need to move on and remain undetected is imperative. Bottled water is impractical, unsustainable and most often, impossible to provide to these communities.

Follow Safe Water for Every Child – Myanmar on Facebook for updates. 

Dae Bu Noh High school SkyHydrant December 2020

 

In hiding from airstrikes in a cave

 

 

Moving the SkyHydrant to Thailand

 

 

Disassembling the SkyHydrant in Myanmar IDP camp to take to refuge in Thailand 



 

Enjoying safe water as a refugee in Thailand

 

 

Set up while seeking refuge from airstrikes in Thailand

 

 

Collecting water from emergency set up in Thailand

 

 

Living under a tarp while on the run

 

 

Dae Bu Noh High School after airstrikes

 

 

Dae Bu Noh High School after airstrikes

 

 

Dae Bu Noh High School after airstrikes

 

 

Seeking refuge in Thailand

 

 

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