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Access to water for three villages in northern Laos

Cost: 45’932 €

Funds: UPAM, ADV Laos, Amis Lorrains du Laos, Rhine-Meuse Water Agency, Stéphane Guy Croisie Foundation, Grand East Region

This project, led by local collectives, involves the development of water networks in three mountain villages. In each of the villages, Ban Parpui, Ban Talolom and Ban Kok May Iai, the work was divided into three stages:

1. Source water collection and transport: springs are located upstream of villages in such a way as to bring water through a gravitational system. A catchment basin with a natural filtering system is built each time. Water is sometimes piped to villages over several kilometres.
2. The construction or expansion of the reservoir. In each village, a tank with a capacity of at least 300,000 litres is required to ensure that there is enough water during the day. In each tank, a settling tank and one or two filtration tanks are built.
3. Water supply to the different parts of the villages and the construction of several fire hydrants. (a terminal for about ten houses).

In October 2019, all the work was completed in the villages of Talolom and Parpui, and the construction of the last standpipes of Kok May Iai is in progress.

The collectives behind the work come from population groups that suffer from systemic discrimination by the authoritarian Laotian government, which has slowed down the work and does not help the official support, already terribly lacking in northern Laos. For example, the district has a budget of 300,000,000,000 kips per year (just over 30,000 CHF) to be allocated to 10 villages (over 10,000 people).

In addition, this project also highlighted the Laotian administrative deadlock and a certain hostility on the part of the authorities. Despite the official authorization of the Province, we had to struggle with the District’s sub-officials to access the villages and find our partners, doubly isolated by their geographical location and the government lock.