Disaster preparedness in Laos

Two women crosss a bridge, Laos

Oxfam has been supporting local partner projects in Laos since the 1980s. Laotian agriculture and cattle breeding are extremely sensitive to natural disasters and disaster management is crucial to sustainable livelihoods.

In December 2014, along with three other partner organisations, Oxfam began implementing a project to help strengthen disaster and risk reduction strategies in Vientiane province. We aimed to increase the capacity of schools, villages, and districts to reduce risks and respond to disasters as well as to help build a culture of safety and resilience.

Napan Village

Flooding has become a recurring problem in Napan village, Med district, Vientiane Province. Most of the population depend on agriculture and fishing in the Med river to support themselves. The floods have been damaging their livelihoods and recovery has been difficult.

Oxfam and local partners worked with community members to deliever training and simulated exercises to help people prepare for disasters as well as increase their knowledge of agricultural techniques to help them adapt to the floods.
A female farmer and beneficary of an Oxfam partner's disaster preparedness, Loas

Ms. Vansy (pictured above), a farmer and beneficiary of the program from napan village, explains how it has helped her, “I observed the simulation exercise conducted in my village last year, I remembered that some of us acted as patients and nurses. They were running, shouting and carrying things. It was fun and helpful in the same time” she explains with a smile.  “I think it gives good knowledge to me and communities to prepare and respond to the disaster. I think I am quite ready to respond if the real disaster happens.”  

Ms Vansy also received training in organic fertilizing techniques. “I did the sample of organic fertilizer, the result was  healthy and delicious vegetables ” she said proudly. Together with local partners we are working to improve and protect the livelihoods of farming families like Ms. Vansy’s.

 

Photos: Syviengkeo/Oxfam