Yangon, 27 May 2016 - A stone laying ceremony for a low-cost housing project took place on Wednesday in Dagon Myothit (Seikkan) Township in Yangon Region. The Government of Japan funded UN-Habitat to provide housing and basic services facilities for most poor and vulnerable families in the vicinity of the project area. The housing project is designed to construct 12 units of 5 storey buildings for 240 vulnerable families. The foundation laying ceremony for the first batch of 6 buildings was jointly officiated by Counsellor Mr. Hideaki Matsuo of the Embassy of Japan, Deputy Director U Sai Thet Naing Moe of the Department of Urban and Housing Development, UN-Habitat Country Programme Manager Mr. Bijay Karmacharya, Director Mr. U Toe Aung of the Urban Division of the Yangon City Development Committee, U Aung Kyaw Oo Integrated Apartment Users’ Committee (IAUC) Chairperson, Van Lizar Aung Director of Women for the World, U Saw Htwe Zaw of S&A Co Ltd, and U Ohn Mying Managing Director of Civil Tech Co Ltd.
In his opening remarks Mr. Karmacharya stressed that this was a pioneering pilot project which will contribute in defining approaches of solving the housing problems faced by poor and vulnerable families in the informal settlement. Counsellor Matsuo in his remarks noted that this was the first time ever that the Government of Japan had made available grant assistance for the purpose of housing construction for the poor and vulnerable in Myanmar and that it was an expression of the goodwill sentiments of the people of Japan for the people of Myanmar. He also expressed that he is looking forward to see the project completed as planned. On behalf of the beneficiaries the chairperson of the IAUC Mr. Kyaw Oo expressed deep gratitude to the Government of Japan and to UN–Habitat for their assistance to the vulnerable people.
He recalled that the beneficiaries’ selection process was a lengthy, careful and rigorous process out of which only genuine beneficiaries were chosen. On behalf of the beneficiaries he gave a solemn pledge to cherish and maintain the bounty bestowed upon them. Dagon Myo Thit (Seik Kan) township is located in the eastern part of the commercial capital Yangon. The town was established in around 1990s and it was planned to set up as an industrial zone. At present, it has a population of about 166,000. The Construction Ministry has prioritized the area to assist the needy and vulnerable families and to provide them with basic facilities such as proper housing, water and sanitation etc. Construction will initially cover 6 units.
The beneficiary families were chosen following a process of social mobilization and arduous beneficiary selection based on vulnerability criteria. Land for the housing project was made available by the Ministry of Construction. The Government of Japan is one of the leading development partners of UN-Habitat; it has already funded various projects in Myanmar for improving living conditions and basic facilities to poor and vulnerable group of people in the other parts of country. In the latest instance, a community led infrastructure project to support communities in Chin State is to start in the month of June under a further grant assistance of Government of Japan.