Yangon Residents Dissatisfied with Municipal Services

By Thazin Hlaing 17 September 2018

YANGON — Yangon residents are not happy with the public utilities of the Yangon municipality, indicates a recent survey.

A local civil society group called Alin Say Taman or Herald of the Light Library and Resource Center conducted the survey in March this year, seeking public opinion on the performance of the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

The group released the survey report on Saturday, which indicated general dissatisfaction over the YCDC’s public service delivery.

“We want to highlight the requirements of people and make sure that taxpayers get adequate service for their money,” said Ma Ohmar, of the civil society group when explaining the purpose of the survey.

The random survey was carried out on 1,205 people aged above 18 in 33 townships in municipal areas of the commercial capital. People were not satisfied with garbage collection, drainage, roads or sidewalks in the city.

Herald of the Light Library and Resource Center launched its report on Sept. 15. / Thazin Hlaing / The Irrawaddy

Regarding the drainage system, 64 percent of respondents were not satisfied while 15 percent said drainage was good and 21 percent said they did not know.

Sixty-five percent of respondents said streets and sidewalks were not clean and tidy. Municipal garbage collection was graded as poor by 46 percent, fair by 17 percent, good by 11 percent and very good by 26 percent.

Seventy-nine percent of the respondents said they would pay more to get better services.

“I doubted that people would be willing to pay an additional 1,000 kyats for better garbage collection,” said Daw Mya Nandar Thin, executive director of the New Myanmar Foundation, which took part in the survey.

“But not only residents from the downtown area, also residents from places like Hlaingtharyar and South Dagon said they were ready to pay up to 1,000 kyats more rather than live beside huge garbage piles,” she said.

“People are not hesitant to pay higher service charges if the municipality provides good service,” said Ma Lei Lei Swe, a resident of Bahan Township.

Alin Say Taman group was founded in 2008 and has since engaged in educating the public about democracy and elections. Earlier this year, it conducted campaigns to encourage public participation in designing the new municipal law of Yangon, which took effect as of June 28.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.