Lao PDR was hit by two tropical storms, Sontinh and Bebinca, with sustained rainfalls over the past three months and with the rainy season expected to continue for a few more weeks. According to latest Government reports, all provinces have been affected, including an estimated 116 districts, 2,400 villages and 132,000 households. Around 17,000 people are currently evacuated from their villages, and 1,772 houses have been destroyed. Approximately 150 km of national and provincial roads, as well as 133 km of district and 350 km of rural roads and 47 bridges have been damaged. Moreover, around 100,000 hectares of paddy field have been damaged, and a large number of livestock has been lost, including 17,000 large animals and 79,000 poultry. Irrigation systems have been heavily damaged. The most affected provinces are Attapeu, Khammouane, Savannakhet, Champasak and Oudomxay.
A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) led by the Government will be launched on 24 September. The PDNA provides a platform for the international community to assist in recovery and reconstruction. It comprises a Damage and Loss Assessment, a Human Recovery Needs Assessment and a Recovery Framework. The findings, scheduled to be presented on 31 October, are expected to inform the National Assembly, the Mid-Term Review of 8th NSEDP and the Round Table Meeting. A PDNA Secretariat has been established at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Planning and Investment as co-leads. The World Bank, the UN Team and the European Union together with INGOs will be supporting the Government across several sectors, with country-wide geographical scope.
Schooling has partially resumed and in Attapeu families staying in the camps in school areas have been relocated to other areas to provide space for classes. The UN Team and INGOs are working closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure education continuity for all children. The Government estimates 272 schools across the country have been affected by flood. While the damage is distributed among 12 provinces, Khammouane province alone is accountable for 30 percent of the number with 82 damaged schools.
Residents of camps in Sanamxay receive 20 kg of rice and LAK 250,000 per person per month from district authorities. This amount of rice should be sufficient to serve families’ needs from a carbohydrate perspective. To complement the diet, other products can be procured in the local markets, which are working well, in and around most of the camps. Meanwhile, a beriberi outbreak has been reported in Khammouane province. Beriberi is linked to a lack of diet diversification, which may be related to the floods, but may also have other causes. Price increases of essential goods were reported in the regions with damaged road access.
Apart of flooding and landslides, the country is also currently affected by a continuing locust outbreak in five provinces in the North, a flood-related White Back Hopper outbreak in Xayaboury and Xekong and a rat epidemic in Luang Namtha
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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