Lao PDR - Strengthening institutional capacities for resilient recovery: Country Case Study Series Disaster Recovery Framework Guide April 2014

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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1. Introduction

1.1 Background

In 2011, the World Reconstruction Conference recommended the development of an international best practice Recovery Framework Guide to assist governments and partner agencies in delivering effective and efficient post-disaster recovery programs. In application, the Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) Guide is intended to complement the government-led Post-disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) process – an assessment method that presents damages and losses in a consolidated report.

The DRF Guide will include: global thematic case studies that capture and analyze how disaster recovery standards and principles are adopted; methods adopted for planning efficient and resilient recovery; lessons learned on policy, institutions, and local capacity; as well as ways in which recovery is translated into long-term disaster risk reduction and development. Ten countries, including the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), were identified for country-level case studies on disaster recovery.

This Country Case Study focuses on the recovery and reconstruction experience of Lao PDR during recent disasters including typhoons Kestana (2009), Haima/Nok-Ten (2011) and the most recent 2013 flood events. The Country Case Study assesses the disaster recovery process in Lao PDR across four thematic areas outlined in the Recovery Framework Guidelines:

■ Institutional arrangements to implement and manage recovery;

■ Policy, planning and prioritization for recovery;

■ Designing, costing, and financing recovery; and

■ Monitoring and evaluation for disaster recovery.

Within this framework, an analysis of the transport sector has been undertaken.

Examples from two provinces – Salavan (affected by Ketsana) and Bolikhamxay (affected by Haima and Nok-Ten) are also provided.

The Case Study has been informed by a combination of secondary data analysis and national and provincial-level stakeholder consultation. The overarching objectives of the Case Study are two-fold: to inform the global guidelines and to provide a basis for operationalizing the Disaster Recovery Framework in the local Lao PDR context.

1.2 Lao PDR Context

In Lao PDR, the most common natural disasters are floods and droughts. Floods occur annually between May and September, caused by heavy rainfall from the annual southwest and northeast monsoons. Droughts, caused by significant changes in monsoon patterns, are becoming more frequent and lasting longer. Between 2009 and 2013 Lao PDR had an unprecedented number of natural disasters, claiming lives and causing widespread damage.

On September 19, 2009, Typhoon Ketsana hit the five southernmost provinces of Lao PDR:
Savannakhet, Salavan, Attapeu, Sekong, and Champassak. Ketsana brought severe flooding that affected over 180,000 people (23% of the population in these provinces) and resulted in 28 storm related deaths (GOL 2009). Flash flooding in mountainous areas and river overflow onto low lying areas of the Sekong River basin, caused extensive damage to property and infrastructure worth an estimated LAK 4.1 trillion (US$5.185 billion) (NDMO 2013). The worst affected areas were not accessible for up to three weeks. Many of the affected population were extremely poor and vulnerable. This high magnitude flood was the first of its kind in the area for over 50 years.

The Government of Lao PDR (GOL) mounted a significant response and recovery operation, with support from the international community. This devastating event highlighted the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards and underscored the need to strengthen national and provincial level capacity in DRM.

Since Ketsana a number of additional high magnitude flood events associated with typhoons or tropical depressions have occurred.

In 2011 tropical storms Haima (June) and Nok-Ten (August) both hit central Lao PDR with devastating effects. Haima caused widespread flooding in 12 provinces, affected 429,954 people (Women 218,154 persons), 82,493 households, 1.790 villages, 96 districts and 42 persons were killed. The flood also severely damaged people houses and infrastructures, costing around 1.8 billion Kips (US$174 million) (NDMO 2013).

In 2013, a series of five major storm events crossed the country resulting in severe flooding in 12 of the country’s 17 provinces. According to a report to the National Assembly, approximately 350,000 people were affected, with 29 storm-related deaths and 77 reported injuries. Loss and damages were estimated at LAK 2.2 trillion (US$219 million) (NDPCC 2013).