Participatory analysis of sustainable land and water management practices for integrated rural development in Myanmar

Related GLP Member: Giulio Castelli


Besides providing reliable water resources for agricultural production, rural development efforts in Myanmar should target rural water security in terms of safe water supply and sanitation, and by mitigating water-related hazards. However, very few studies are available over the status of water-related development in rural areas of the country, and consequently on suitable practical solutions. The present paper describes a participatory workshop undertaken involving 45 rural development officers of the Department of Rural Development (DRD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI), aimed at identifying suitable sustainable land and water management (SLWM) practices to be developed in rural areas of the country. Adoption of water safety plans (WSP), water harvesting, and soil and water bioengineering were strongly supported, while the need for improving water sanitation, especially in the poorest areas, was made evident. Insights of the participatory process confirmed that the poorest regions of Myanmar have also the worst water management structures. The results of the present work can represent baseline information and a needs assessment for future development projects in the country. However, there is a strong need for more studies and reports targeting marginalized rural contexts of Myanmar, to support equitable development.