Abundant Water & Caritas Get Filters to Flood Affected Communities: Namkiew Village
On the 23rd of July this year the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed resulting in more than 130 billion gallons of water flooding into rural villages in southern Laos. This tragedy destroyed thousands of homes and displaced over 6,000 people. Abundant Water was happy to have been able to contribute donated filters as part of the relief effort.
While this tragedy received significant coverage in Australian media flooding is an all to common occurrence in Laos and on a recent field visit our team saw firsthand the impact flooding can have on rural communities in the small South-East Asian country.
During its third round of field visits under its partnership in Xieng Khouang province Abundant Water and Caritas Luxembourg visited Namkiew village in Mok district. Namkiew is a majority Hmong village which has recently been affected by flooding.
As the wet season engulfed Laos, heavy rains raised the local river level and greatly increased the strength of the river’s current. This combination of impacts damaged Namkiew’s only bridge.
The loss of this local infrastructure has had a significant impact on the local community. Without a bridge to transit the river families are now forced to take a boat across it instead greatly increasing the time and effort it takes to move around the village.
The community hopes to repair the bridge soon but is unsure of how it will raise the funds required and is hoping to get support from the local government or an NGO.
While Abundant Water was unable to rebuild Namkiew’s bridge we were able to deliver the community immediate and sustainable access to clean drinking water. The level of interest across the community in our filters was high. We were able to install 94 filters for free with a further 57 filters purchased by families across the village.
We are really proud of what we are able to achieve under our partnership with Caritas Luxembourg and hope that Namkiew’s bridge will be rebuilt soon. We are encouraged by the fact that while families still have to make extra effort to get across the river they no longer have to spent time and resources getting safe drinking water for their children.