The new water treatment plant in Thong village, Paksan district, Bolikhamxay Province was officially opened to ensure that residents have access to safe water.
The ceremony was held on Jan 31 in the presence of Japanese Ambassador to Laos Takeshi Hikihara, Governor of Bolikhamxay Province Kongkeo Saysongkham, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport Viengsavath Siphandone, and relevant officials of both sides.
Using water from the Nam Ngiep River, the plant will be able to supply about 1,000 m3 of water per day or enough for 6,600 people.
“Japan is supporting the safe water supply facility together with the government of Lao PDR. I am pleased to see that Japanese high technology is being effectively used for the people of the Lao PDR and that Japan’s Official Development Assistance is playing an important role in the socio-economic development of Lao PDR,” said Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara.
The plant was established as one of the Japanese Economic Assistance projects of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) under a proposal of TEAM TOHKEMY and purifies highly turbid river water of the Lao PDR to a standard of Japanese drinking water.
The project was initiated by an agreement in May 2015 between the Department of Housing and Urban Planning, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of the Lao PDR, and JICA.
The Lao PDR side constructed the building structure and installed water tanks and pipes, while the Japanese side designed and manufactured the water treatment apparatus.
The collaboration between the Lao PDR and Japan enabled this outstanding project to successfully begin supplying the water supply in the very short period of only half a year.
The government of the Lao PDR has set the national goal of having 80% coverage of piped water supply for urban communities by 2020 whereas the coverage ratio as of 2014 was estimated at 67%.
It is a critical issue to secure the “stable supply of safe water” in line with economic growth, urbanization and the increase in population as well as to reduce regional disparities.
Given the diminishing supply of good quality of underground water resources in urban areas, it becomes a challenge to achieve stable drinking water supplies at reasonable costs by purifying surface water such as the Mekong River with high turbidity during the rainy season.
TEAM TOHKEMY expressed its willingness to contribute to increasing the supply of drinking water in the country by focusing on medium and small sized drinking water supply areas for small towns in suburban areas.
The introduction of the captioned apparatus increases the drinking water supply ratio of Paksan district from 69% to 89%.
This water treatment apparatus is scheduled to be donated by JICA to Bolikhamxay Province upon the transfer of operational know-how to the Bolikhamxay Waterworks Bureau through joint operation for one year by TEAM TOHKEMY and the bureau.
Source: Lao News Agency