Lao PDR: Flash Floods in Attapeu - Office of the Resident Coordinator Situation Report No. 9 (as of 23 August 2018)


This report is produced by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator Lao PDR in collaboration with humanitarian partners. The next report may be issued in two weeks’ time on Thursday 6 September 2018.


  • Last week tropical storm Bebinca hit the North of Laos causing the Mekong’s water level to rise.
    Human impact was minimal. However, forecast seasonal rains will continue to hinder access to camps. Some areas remain accessible only by helicopter. Damaged bridges are being repaired and/or replaced.

  • A first lot of temporary shelters to accommodate 150 households is expected to be completed by the end of August. Construction of three other shelters in hard-to-reach locations has not yet started. Emergency shelters are currently overcrowded and space management will be essential to allow the set-up of key infrastructure. Measures are being taken to prevent disease outbreaks.

  • The first cross-sectoral coordination meeting between Government and humanitarian partners took place in Attapeu on 23 August. An InterAgency Standing Committee meeting may take place in the week of 27 August in Vientiane.

  • An assessment of damages and losses across Lao PDR, with focus on Attapeu, is currently being consulted between the Government and key partners such as the UN World Bank and European Union. This may be launched in the coming weeks. The coordination of ongoing rapid assessments remains crucial.

  • The Humanitarian Country Team has launched a Disaster Response Plan requesting US$ 5.6 million to provide life-saving assistance and recovery services to the 13,100 affected people in Sanamxay District. The requirements are expected to increase. To date, US$ 2.2 million have been pledged towards the plan.

Situation Overview

While authorities are closely monitoring the level of the Mekong River and its tributaries, seasonal rains continue. The rains are affecting the living conditions of people in Attapeu, especially those in the emergency shelters, relief and recovery operations as well as transportation infrastructure and access.

Some of the camps are currently overcrowded. People have therefore started setting up tents around the camps and along roads, exposing them to additional mud and rain, hindering heavy vehicles from passing through and obstructing the construction of key infrastructure. Proper site planning, including of the four temporary shelters currently being constructed or in planning, thus continues to be a high priority.

Disease outbreaks are now a real risk and measures are being taken in this regard, including provision of clean water and sanitation, cholera vaccinations and awareness raising on handwashing. 22 Moderate Acute Malnutrition cases and 10 Severe Acute Malnutrition cases have been detected to date, of which most were found in the host communities. Six child friendly spaces have been established in the camps. These are currently being considered as locations for interim schooling.

A bridge connecting Attapeu to Sanamxay has collapsed and is now under repair but not passable by vehicles. Other bridges have been damaged. Reportedly, the Government’s plan is to repair all damaged bridges with upgraded materials. Sufficient relief goods remain in Sanamxay City to cover immediate needs. Two camps, Pindong and Tamayod, are mainly accessible by air, with land access limited to light vehicles. Ban Bok, 16 km from Sanamxay City, is reachable only via a mud road, with trucks frequently getting stuck. The situation in the remote camps remains particularly challenging. Access to water, sanitation services and electricity for instance is limited. Generators are currently providing power 6-9 pm.

The international community, including United Nations, Red Cross, INGOs and Non-Profit Association partners continue to support the Government’s ongoing relief efforts. This includes the provision of Non-Food Items such as tool kits, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, water pumps, filters and thousands of water purification tablets, safe delivery kits, and tents; specific nutrition support and screening for malnutrition; delivery of rice, canned fish and food rations; emergency first aid and health services.

Current response priorities continue to be the provision of food and cooking utensils; clean drinking water; specific items such as bins, water tanks and family kits; health support (delivery of medical equipment and supplies, including vaccination to prevent disease outbreaks, medical teams on the ground to focus on preventing of secondary disease. outbreaks and to provide psycho-social counselling); shelter; the rehabilitation of infrastructure, including roads and bridges; and search of missing people. The needs are particularly high in the camps outside Sanamxay City and storekeeping remains a challenge. There are concerns that the host communities will require support in addition to Lao PDR Emergency Situation Report No. 9 | 3 United Nations Office of the Resident Coordinator those displaced, as many families who still live in their own houses have however lost their livelihoods and would be in equal need of assistance. Moreover, the Government may extend its request for support to include other provinces.


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