On December 6, 2018, GGGI in partnership with Vientiane City Office for Management and Services (VCOMS) conducted a participatory workshop with local stakeholders with an aim to validate operational models and implementation strategy for decentralized waste collection services in Vientiane, Lao DPR. The workshop was attended by thirty community members including village authorities, women’s union and household representatives from three pilot villages – Dongnaxoktai, Pakthang, Nongbuathongneua in Sikhottabong District and joined by ten officials from VCOMS and representatives from Sikhottabong district authorities.
The workshop facilitated by Ms. Shomi Kim, Green Cities Analyst, took the participatory approach in which collective ideas of community members are captured in developing operational models for decentralized waste collection services. The community members and officials from VCOMS participated in co-designing of waste bags for the volume-based waste collection service and secondary waste collection points for the decentralized waste collection service. Participants also provided ideas on distribution channels of designated waste bags, promotion of waste separation at source, and mobilizing community participation in the pilot projects.
The activity was organized as a follow up effort from the baseline survey conducted earlier this year to understand people’s behaviors on waste handling and disposal thus, to design more sustainable waste collection services in the project area. At the workshop, GGGI shared the key findings from the baseline survey and rationale for the ideas proposed for sustainable solid waste management in Vientiane mainly including: i) decentralized waste collection services, ii) volume-based waste collection services, and iii) waste banks.
“These pilot projects will not be successful nor sustainable without the participation of the community members. We strongly believe that villagers are the owners of the projects and will continue to support the village authorities to take the initiative in promoting the projects”, said Mr. Phoudone Meksavanh, Deputy Director General of VCOMS.
Upon the completion of this workshop, GGGI also held a meeting with VCOMS to discuss institutional support and to reaffirm strong partnership for implementation of the pilot projects starting from 2019. VCOMS expressed appreciation to GGGI for consistent support for tackling challenging issues in the waste sector and engaging the community members in the course of project development to ensure the sustainability of the project.