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Flood victims in Lao PDR benefit from Japanese funded housing and water supply

16 November 2020, Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province, Lao PDR – The Japanese Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Keizo Takewaka and distinguished senior government officials from the national, provincial and district levels undertook a joint mission to Sanamxay District, Attapeu Province, to participate in the handover ceremony of post emergency shelter.

Flood victims in Lao PDR benefit from Japanese funded housing and water supply

The Japanese Ambassador with the symbolic house key and beneficiaries from affected communities holding keys of their new houses © Biz Production

The project, “Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Housing Sector in 2018 Floods Affected Areas of Lao PDR” focused on providing permanent houses and community-level piped water to the people whose houses and livelihoods were destroyed and basic services disrupted due to the devastating floods of 2018 which had led to the collapse of an auxiliary dam in the area. More than 6,000 people were estimated to be displaced into neighbouring villages and temporary shelters as a result.

At the handover ceremony, H.E. Mr. Keizo Takewaka congratulated UN-Habitat for the successful completion of the project, noting that “Disaster risk reduction is one of the major pillars of Japan’s development policy and national policy… [and] I am very pleased to learn that Building Back Better principle has been adopted in the construction of the houses.” The Ambassador also spoke of the strong friendship between the Government of Japan and Lao PDR, which marks the 65th anniversary this year. The Vice Governor of Attapeu Province, Mrs. Minaphone Xayxomphou expressed her gratitude for the support provided by the Government of Japan and UN-Habitat towards the reconstruction efforts for the vulnerable communities. She noted that “It is a great relief for these families to finally be able to move into their own houses.” The ceremony was also attended by the Governor of Sanamxay District, Mr. Soulivong Aphaivong, and several senior officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, village chiefs and more than a hundred of people from the most affected communities.

Flood victims in Lao PDR benefit from Japanese funded housing and water supply

A child holds a symbolic house key as the newly constructed houses were handed over to the people © Juan Torres, UN-Habitat

The mission concluded with a visit to one of the two projects sites where the houses have been constructed based on the Building Back Better principles to instill climate resilience, with elevated floors, solid foundation and modular extensions, in order to withstand the recurring natural disasters in the area.

Flood victims in Lao PDR benefit from Japanese funded housing and water supply

Newly constructed houses with elevated floors to withstand future shocks © Buahom Sengkhamyong, UN-Habitat

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