Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR, December 9, 2019 – The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) co-hosted the launching workshop on Wastewater and Solid Waste Treatment Capacity Building Project for City Environment Improvement in Vientiane Capital and Pakse City. The four-year program is funded by KOICA and implemented by GGGI.
During the opening address, Mr. Phomma, the Director-General of the Department of Water Supply, emphasized the need for smart cities and multilateral cooperation to tackle climate change and sanitation issues together in light of this years’ flooding. Mr. Sungsoo Oh, KOICA Country Director, highlighted the KOICA’s 4P strategy emphasizing People-centered development support promoting Peace, Prosperity, and Planet. The KOICA’s support is exemplified by the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) new southern policy aiming to strengthen ASEAN-Korea relations with doubling of development aids to the region. Dr. Jason Lee, GGGI Laos Country Representative, underscored that pilot projects in Vientiane Capital and Pakse are to be replicated in other cities in Laos on a larger scale. Ultimately, the primary overall goal of this four-year project is to assist the Government of Lao PDR to achieve sustainable urban development by improving public health and sanitation, increase access to waste management services and wastewater treatment and create green jobs.
The workshop was attended by government staff from various ministries including Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Public Health, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as other relevant key stakeholders from Vientiane and Pakse cities, target villages, entrepreneurs, and international agencies.
The workshop was split into two half-day sessions. The morning session’s objectives were to enhance the general understanding of the project and to discuss the details of terms of reference for members of the Project Steering Committee. Participants from the
morning session expressed a belief that the project will bring “valuable contributions to green cities development.”
The afternoon session went into more detail on the technical aspects and responsibilities of the Project Implementation Units (PIU) for each project component. Two simultaneous and different working group sessions on Solid Waste Management and Wastewater Management were held. Mr. Bounchan Keosithamma, the Director-General of the Vientiane City Operation and Management Services, along with GGGI Project Lead, Ms. Shomi Kim, presented and facilitated discussions for the PIU for the solid waste management. In parallel, a session for the wastewater management was led by Mr. Peter Vos, the Head of Water Practice from GGGI Headquarters. Mr. Onkeo Phetphoumy, Vice Mayor of Pakse city, and Mr. Sengsavath, the Director of Sanitation Division also presented and discussed the improvements to the National Urban Sanitation Strategy, the structure of PIU, the terms of reference, and outlined the timeframe for the project. The small working group participants also engaged in discussions on the importance of risk mitigation and management from flooding and shared ideas in preventive measures during this session.