Lao PDR is characterized by rapid and uncontrolled urbanization as a result of rural-urban migration. Although many parts of Lao PDR are still predominantly rural, with more than two thirds (67.1 per cent) of the people living in areas defined as rural. At the same time, Lao PDR is facing the highest urbanization rate in Asia, at a rate of 4.9 per cent, which is more than twice the global average of 2 per cent. This poses a huge pressure on urban and emerging urban settlements.
Additionally, some houses in urban areas are still without electricity and about 10 per cent of urban areas of the country have not yet been covered by an improved source of drinking water. Also, about 40% of everyday waste produced, approximately 6 kg/person, are disposed at the road side, back yard, water way or by open burning. The untreated water has become a cause of concern in most cities.