13,100 people affected in Sanamxay District
6,000 people evacuated to emergency shelters
13,100 people targeted in Sanamxay district
$5.6M requested (millions)
• Provide life-saving assistance to people affected by the flash floods and re-establish basic services.
• Support the restoration of livelihoods and self-reliance.
• Provide safety and protection for vulnerable people, including women, girls, boys and men, the elderly and people with disabilities, including through the provision of transitional shelter.
The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is seeking US$5.6 million to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to an estimated 13,100 people in Education, Food Security and Nutrition, Health, Shelter, including camp management, Protection, and WASH over the next four months. Early Recovery activities will extend for a period longer than 4 months, as required.
On 18 and 19 July, Tropical Storm Son-Tinh caused heavy rains and flooding in 55 districts of 13 provinces across Lao PDR. According to the Government, over 24,000 families are affected by these floods thus far. With the water levels in the Mekong River and its tributaries due to rise over the coming weeks, the situation is likely to deteriorate and flooding may spread farther.
In addition to seasonal flooding, an unprecedented flash flood occurred on 23 July in Attapeu Province due to water discharge from the Xepien-Xe Nam Noy Dam. Over five billion cubic meters of water, equal to two million Olympic swimming pools, inundated an estimated 55,000 hectares of land covering it with mud and sludge. Initial air and ground assessment results led the Prime Minister of Lao PDR to declare the affected areas as a National Emergency Disaster Zone.
The Government is leading the response through the National Disaster Prevention and Control Committee, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, and welcomed international support on 25 July. Development partners and members of the Humanitarian Country Team are augmenting national response efforts.
As of 2 August, the Government informed that 13,100 people in Sanamxay are in need of assistance; 13 people died; and 120 people remain missing (NEOC/AHA). Displacement has an immense impact on the daily life of over 6,000 people located in at least four evacuation sites. Cramped situations may exacerbate the existing risks and vulnerabilities faced in particular by women and girls. While some people have started returning to their houses, others have to wait for the floods to recede and for new houses to be built.
Priority needs include clean drinking water, including purification equipment, food, clothes, tents, sleeping mattresses and blankets, personal hygiene kits, psycho-social counselling and medication.
Attapeu is one of the most remote areas of Lao PDR. Flash floods have submerged over 31 kilometres of road and damaged 14 bridges, damaged basic infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and irrigation systems.
Rugged terrain and deposits of sticky mud hamper vehicles and boats from accessing some of the worst affected areas and slow down the delivery of much needed assistance. Access is further restricted by the fact that at least 94 per cent of the villages are contaminated by Unexploded Ordnance (UXO).
A timely response is ever more urgent as more rains are likely to weaken the resilience of affected people, and increase the risk of localised flooding and water borne diseases. Aware that flooding across the country may worsen and the overall needs may significantly increase, this Disaster Response Plan covers life-saving activities to support the most affected people in Sanamxay District for a period of four months. However, the planning assumption is that this plan can be expanded to include assistance to other locations in Lao PDR severely affected by floods later in the year.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.