Authorities continue to help victims in flood-hit Lao provinces
VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Authorities are repairing infrastructure and facilities, especially roads, bridges, schools and hospitals to ensure that flood victims at accommodation centres remain healthy and receive food and drinking water, a leading official said.
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng told a press conference in Vientiane yesterday that authorities are continuing to work with police, soldiers, as well as other volunteers to implement emergency aid. Emergency assessment teams are also being dispatched to evaluate the damage and the needs of residents so authorities can restore the situation to normal as quickly as possible after the disaster.
The minister also urged authorities to follow the Meteorology and Hydrology Department weather forecasts, and forewarn residents of any new potential danger.
“The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is cooperated with central and southern provincial authorities to render emergency help to the flood victims including 39 boats, 120 family tents, and more than 3,000 packs of drinking water,” Dr Khampheng said.
“The ministry has deployed about 5 billion kip of emergency aid which was approved by the government to provide to the flood-affected provinces,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ministry has been mobilising funds from society via local media since September 9 with many sectors donating money and food as well as drinking water which have been sent to help the victims, he explained.
“The ministry is still accepting donations of food, kitchen equipment, bedding as well as necessary items to the victims, and the authorities will endeavour to get the residents’ lives back to normal as soon as possible,” Dr Khampheng explained.
Tropical depression Podual passed over southern and central Laos recently and resulted in the deaths of two people in Savannakhet province, three in Saravan, five in Champassak, and four in Attapeu.
More than 175,000 households in 1,466 villages of 43 districts in the six provinces of Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan, Champassak, Xekong and Attapeu were affected, and more than 14,000 households were moved to safe places.
Floodwaters submerged more than 151,000 hectares of farmland, 251 hectares of vegetable plots, and 3,266 fish ponds.
About 330 animals were moved to safe places, while 43 reservoirs, 12 bridges, 313 schools, 15 hospitals and dispensaries, more than 252 km of roads were affected by the floods.
The flood victims are in immediate need of food, drinking water, kitchen equipment, bedding, and boats with boatmen, according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.