A project spearheaded by a Danish consortium will overhaul Yangon’s aging water supply system.
Danish Water Services, VCS Danmark and Grontmij, met with Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) and local partner MY Associates from March 19 to 23 to work through the details of the project, which aims to bring a reliable water supply to Yangon residents and bring down the level of leakage.
Yangon is estimated to have a population between four and seven million people, but only 38 percent of the population has running water, the project proposal from the Danish consortium states.
A long term project
The first phase of the overhaul project will be a feasibility study conducted in Yangon’s Yankin township, the pilot area.
“Together with YCDC we have created an organisation on how to develop the project. YCDC has put people at our disposal who have found out that the Yankin district will be an interesting place to look at first, because it roughly represents the city,” the director of Danish Water Services, Carsten Møller, said to Myanmar Times.
The specific area within Yankin township has about 40,000 residents and 4000 connections to the water supply system. Less than half of the residents have piped water into their homes.
“In this area, we will examine how much leakage there is, find out how this system can be optimised and how we can reduce this water leakage,” the market and development director from Grontmij, Hans-Martin Friis Moeller, said.
The goal for Yangon is to cut the leakage levels to 10-20pc. However, this will be a long term project.
“It will probably take 30 years before Yangon city can realistically reach this level. It’s a huge project. But it has been done in Phnom Penh and that project took about 10 years, which was impressive, so it is not impossible for a developing country to come down to that level,” the project manager at VCS Danmark, Henrik Juul, said.
Succes will promote the Danish water sector
“So far, it has been a very good start here in Myanmar. We have been met with great interest and willingness. The will to do this is definitely here from both sides and this project will be a great reference for the Danish water sector, so we are very eager to succeed,” he added.
Denmark has become one of the world leaders in water sector management. The area in Denmark managed by VCS Danmark has an NRW level of around 4.7 percent, the company said. On average, the level of NRW in Denmark is around 7 percent.