Ban Naxaythong village was the first of the villages for which MiVAC provided running water in Lao PDR. It is about 25 km north of Phonsavan in Xieng Khouang Province, and had a population of around 1100 people.
There was no running water in the village, so water was either carted in by truck, or village girls and young women would carry 20kg containers of water, uphill, from water sources – which were several hundred metres or more from their homes.
A suitable water source was located, but it was almost 9km from the village. It was up in a creek in some small hills. But this meant that the water had to be transported the 9km to the village, including crossing one major creek.
A small dam was constructed in the creek, with two 63mm diameter “poly” pipes carrying water to a small “settling tank”. The tank had three chambers, and as the water flowed up over one chamber wall and into the next chamber, any suspended dirt would drop to the bottom of the chamber. (The dirt could later be cleaned out using in-built cleaning lines.)
Then, a 63mm pipe was laid out, connected and buried 300mm below ground level (to prevent ultra violet light degradation) for the 9km to the village.
A 31,000 litre water holding tank was constructed on a small hill near the village, and the water flowed into this. Water the flowed through a number of smaller pipes to 11 water points located through the village, and with one of these at the school.
At all stages of the project, approvals and design assistance were sought from the District Government offices, and strong relationships were soon developed.
At the end of the work in this village, and once training in maintenance and sanitation, a formal handover ceremony was held. The Assistant District Governor and village Chief were both very pleased and appreciative of the work we completed.
A 94 year old man came up to me and told me it was the first time the village had ever had running water, and he was very happy. The women and girls were also very happy, as they now did not have to carry water over those long distances.
OUR PROJECT OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the project for the were,
- All inhabitants to have access to sufficient clean water for their daily needs;
- The village school to have water, toilet and hand-washing facilities within the school grounds;
- Villagers to receive health and hygiene instruction;
- Villagers to understand basic maintenance to enable sustainability of the water and sanitation systems and their water maintenance fund; and
- Village to set up and contribute monthly to their water maintenance fund.
These objectives were met, and a subsequent inspection in 2020 showed that maintenance had been undertaken on the pipeline, using village workers and funds from their water maintenance fund.
Dates – Nov 2014 – Mar 2015
Funding – provided by grants from Rotary International, as well as from donations received by MiVAC.
Staffing – MiVAC’s volunteer Project Manager was Mr Brian Boon, MCS. Brian had a local man as Assistant Manager – Mr Moua , and Construction Carpenter – Mr No.