South-South knowledge sharing and exposure visit to sanitation sector projects in Vientiane Capital, Luang Namtha and Bokeo, Lao PDR
A delegation of 21 officials from provincial departments, city administration, and villages of Champasack province and the department of water supply (DWS), led by Mr. Bounao Forngkhamdeang, Vice Mayor of Pakse city, and Mr. Khamphouk Chanthavisouk, Deputy Director General of Department of Public Works and Transport, Champasak Provincial Government visited the ongoing wastewater and fecal sludge management projects in Vientiane Capital, Luang Namtha and Huaxay cities in 3rd week of March (14-18) 2022.
This knowledge sharing program was organized by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) under the City Environment Improvement in Lao PDR Wastewater and Solid Waste Treatment Capacity Building Project and facilitated by the Project coordination unit of the Asia Development Bank-Second Greater Mekong Subregion (ADB-GMS2 PCU) and VCOMS (Vientiane Capital Office for Management and Service). The objective of this visit was to provide an opportunity to the officials from Champasak province in understanding and learning from the infrastructure, regulatory and operational systems adopted by other cities in Lao PDR in managing and providing sanitation services. This was to enable the officials of Champasak Province to learn from the good practices and lessons learned from the systems adopted in Vientiane, Luang Namtha, and Huaxay and transfer the learnings in Pakse city.
VCOMS office -Mr. Bounchan Keosithumma, Director General of VCOMS warmly welcomed and introduced about the programs under their own operation. The session focused to enable attendees acknowledge about the overall background of Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) funded by AIMF (Association international des Maire Francophones) and solid waste management supported by KOICA-GGGI. During this session, attendees from Pakse raised the specific questions related to regulations and institutional framework, while Mr. Bounchan Keosithumma replied to the questions clearly and will share all regulations once the approval stage is completed.
Attendees visited the Faecal sludge treatment plant in Nahai village, Saisettha district. This facility has been operated by VCOMS since 2016. The facility consists of a receiving station, 8 planted drying beds, a storage area for dried compost, and a bamboo plantation used as an infiltration area for treated wastewater. Every day, on an average 25 desludging trucks deliver the fecal sludge from households in Vientiane Capital to this treatment plant. Operations of these desludging trucks are regulated by VCOMS. The facility generated about 300 tons of compost every year and it has been able to sell this compost to various fertilizer companies in and around Vientiane Capital. Mr. Bounao Forngkhamdeang, Vice Mayor of Pakse city remarked that “Being able to convert fecal sludge to compost is a valuable experience and that this should be replicated in Pakse city as well. There are several benefits to the community”,