Myanmar City Goes Green with Modern Urban Services

Modern water supply, wastewater treatment, and garbage collection services are paving the way for the transformation of the city of Mandalay in upper Myanmar into a prosperous, green urban center.


VO: With a population of about 1.25 million the city of Mandalay is the main commercial and economic hub of upper Myanmar. Since the end of the economic sanctions and isolation of the country Mandalay has been experiencing rapid development. However, growth is placing enormous strain on the city’s rundown infrastructure.

This is all about to change as the Mandalay city government prepares to embark on a major investment program to create a clean and prosperous green city by 2040.

SOT: U Tun Kyi
Mandalay City Development Committee
In this project, we will first upgrade our water supply system. Then we will reduce non-revenue water, which is high now. Finally, we will expand our water supply system to un-served areas.

VO: Mandalay’s water supply system was built with an Asian Development Bank loan in the 1990s before international economic sanctions were imposed. The system covers only the city core, providing an intermittent untreated water supply to only half of the cities residents. The new project will rehabilitate the system, increase water production and reduce water losses, which now account to about 50% of the water supply.

SOT: Gary Moys
ADB Project Preparation Team
Mandalay is setting itself to become a green city but a fundamental aspect of that is to have good environmental services that will attract not only tourism but also attract industry and others to the city of Mandalay.

VO: The restoration and dredging of the creek will be a major component of the urban improvement project with the city’s first waste water treatment facility built to clean up the creek.

SOT: Gary Moys
ADB Project Preparation Team
The city is actually doing quite a good job with regards the solid waste collection and disposal but there are key things that need to be improved to expand the service and also to assist in reducing enough solid waste to find itself into the graves.

VO: A sanitary landfill will be developed to replaced the environmentally hazardous northern and southern dumpsites. Waste pickers will be provided with alternative livelihoods when the dumpsites are closed. While campaigns to create environmental awareness among city residents will be key to reducing the amount of trash dumped into landfills and water bodies.

The Asian Development Bank and the French Asian Sea for Development (AFD) will provide support for the project. However, local government and communities will also need to play their part.

SOT: Eri Honda
ADB Southeast Asia Urban Division
The city of Mandalay would have to raise sufficient revenue to cover operations and maintenance as well as part of the capital cost of new urban infrastructure. These can be achieved by increasing tariff gradually for water supply, waste water treatment, and garbage collection. The community surveys revealed that people are very willing to pay for the improved urban services. This is crucial to the development of a green Mandalay, which will benefit all city residents.