On July 9 -13, GGGI in partnership with the Vientiane City Office for Management and Services (VCOMS) conducted a stakeholder research study with the aim of developing a sustainable solid waste management system in Vientiane, Lao PDR and linking it to future project development and implementation studies. A focus group discussion (FGD) was attended by three village chiefs and twenty household representatives from the Sikhottabong district of Vientiane and facilitated by Ms. Shomi Kim, GGGI’s Green Cities Analyst, using human-centered design thinking tools. The FGD was followed by face-to-face interviews with 180 households, waste collection companies, and waste pickers operating in the district. This baseline survey was aimed at consolidating quantitative and qualitative data on; i) waste generation and handling practices, ii) strengths and weaknesses of current waste collection services, iii) households’ willingness to pay for services, iv) households’ preference on collection services for payment schemes, and v) mechanisms to support waste-to-resource opportunities.
The activity, conducted as preparation for piloting decentralized waste collection services and waste banks at the district level, was proposed as a potential intervention area for VCOMS based on findings from situational analysis carried out by GGGI in 2017. With technical assistance from GGGI, VCOMS has identified three villages – Dongnaxoktai, Pakthang, Nongbuathongneua in Sikhottabong district of Vientiane as pilot project areas. A project team consisting of officials from VCOMS, the Sikhottabong district office, village authorities, and members of the GGGI Lao Office has been established to ensure local ownership of the project.
“Solid waste management is one of the most challenging and imminent issues to be tackled to support green cities development in our district and in the city of Vientiane. We are dedicated to increasing the waste collection coverage and waste-to-resource opportunities, therefore fully support the collaboration with GGGI in this sector”, said Ms. Phouvieng Keovongvichit, Governor of the Sikhottabong district.
Based on the result of the baseline survey, GGGI seeks to co-design innovative solutions for inclusive waste collection services and a sustainable business model for waste banks to be piloted in Sikhottabong district. The data collected from this survey will also provide reference for developing solid waste management strategy for Vientiane for the first time and a new legal framework for a nation-wide waste management system.