A Small but Significant Step for “The Phoukood Project”
As most avid readers of MiVAC’s newsletter will know, at least the last three volunteer in Lao have spend many many hours drafting and reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for MiVAC’s next project with various District, Provincial and Central government officials. That is still true for yours truly. “The Phoukood Project”, or to use its correct title “Village Development and Poverty Reduction in Phoukood District Lao PDR (Phase 3)” or Phase 3 for short. Phase 3 is proposed to run from August 2014 until December 2016 and will include the following:
- The construction of seven new water source head works,
- The construction of nine 8000 litre concrete water tanks,
- The laying and trenching of a total of 37.1 kilometres of poly water pipe,
- The building of an additional 51 water points,
- The provision of 112 septic toilet kits,
- Completion of upgrade of Hinmou Peung and Phong Hor water supply systems,
- The construction of a Dormitory at Ban Xai to accommodate those children attending that school who are unable to come and go daily,
- The provision of playground equipment to the Phong Hor, Ban Xai, and Hinmou Peung schools
- Health and hygiene training covering the basics of the use of the toilets, washing hands, personal hygiene and village hygiene.
Although the project can’t formally commence until the MoU is signed with the Lao Government represented by its Ministry of Health, the local Phoukood District Office representative responsible for this project (Mr Souli Sac pictured below) agreed to accompany MiVAC on a visit to Ban Naxaythong on Tues 19 August. Ban Naxaythong will be the first village to benefit from the project once work officially commences. In project management parlance, the “Project Kick-off Meeting” between MiVAC and the selected village Naibans was designed to start the planning process and set expectations of what MiVAC would be providing (i.e. materials, expertise and management) and asking of the villagers (i.e. to provide labour for the project). The other main aim of the meeting was to ask the Naiban to write to UXO Lao requesting it come to the village and clear all the “construction” areas to be used during the project of UXOs. In true Lao fashion, the Naibans’ letter must go through several levels of “endorsement” before it is finally passed to UXO Lao. I expect several weeks delay before UXO Lao respond and react hence the need to get the process started. The photo belong captures the moment after the meeting.
For MiVAC’s planning to really commence, we need to complete the site plan which constitutes the high level design of where the water source tank will be located, where the water tanks and points will be and where the poly pipe will run. A second visit to Ban Naxaythong on Thurs and Friday (21 & 22 August) allowed Moua and Mr Sonephet (Phoukood District Health Office – Water) to rough out a site plan which will be drawn up and then agreed with the Naibans before getting it formally agreed with Sonephet. Sonephet is heavily involved as he will take ongoing responsibility for maintenance for whatever is constructed. The agreed site plan is then used for determining the bill of materials for the work in that village.
MiVAC Lao Operations & Project Manager
24 August 2014
(L to R) Mr Moua Thao (MiVAC), 2nd Naiban, Lee Uebergang, Mr Souli Sac, 2nd Naiban & 3rd Naiban – Ban Naxaythong
MiVAC, Phoukood District & Ban Naxaythong Villagers survey the water source