“The water came spilling from the river into the village, flooding it. All the people in the villages went to higher places. At its highest level, the water was about 1.8 meters above our village. It lasted for three to four days; crops and rice storage were damaged, and some animals were lost. We still need support to recover from this disaster” said Mr. Bounta, 47 years old, a vice of the village chief.
In July and August, heavy monsoon rains in Lao PDR have caused floods and landslides, severely impacting vulnerable communities. Bolikhamxay and Khammouane were the hardest-hit provinces, affecting 60,184 people, including nine casualties, leaving thousands of families to lose houses, livestock, and farmlands, according to the UN RCO and Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
Khounkham district, in Khammouane province, was the worst affected area with 3,218 affected families, 14 villages, with 12,767 people directly affected by the flood; 3,524 hectares of farmland and 209 hectares of banana fields destroyed
“I was very afraid and worried for my children because the water level increased and my children are still small. I was pregnant for six months during that time, and we don’t know how to swim” said Lae, 24 years old mother.
Lae continued to share with our response team: “All our ducks and chickens died. I’m worried about our children's future, I know the coming year will be hard, with not enough rice and the reduced income because of the flood damage. With my pregnancy, we will be facing more difficulties with one more mouth to feed”.
“World Vision is responding to the needs of 5,124 people affected from 14 villages of Khounkham district,” says Kenglid Lee, Response Manager for World Vision. “We are grateful for the partnership with the local government to distribute sticky rice, canned fish, clean drinking water, water filters, and hygiene kits that will help the victims of the recent natural disasters. Even though Khounkham district is not in our target areas of implementation, we see the important needs of children and their families, and have a moral responsibility as a humanitarian organization to do whatever it takes to help them”.
Mr. Lee continues: “These kits enable better sanitation and protection for these vulnerable households. With these items, we are helping people to rebuild their lives in a way that brings them a stronger future”.
The Emergency Response Team actively delivered relief aid to 1,000 families affected by floods across 14 villages in Khounkham District, Khammouane Province. Alongside aid distribution, our team imparts essential health knowledge, emphasizing hand hygiene, clean water consumption, child protection, and reporting child abuse.
“I am happy with the items I received from World Vision: 25 kg of sticky rice, food and condiments, and the hygiene kit and water filter. This is very helpful and useful for my family, my children will have food and clean water to drink” Lae added.
World Vision has worked with the most vulnerable children and their communities in Lao PDR for almost 40 years. The international organization reached over 359,000 people in Laos in 2022 with development projects to improve nutrition, education, and well-being outcomes for children. In the past decade, the agency responded to humanitarian needs and disasters in Laos, including COVID-19 and flooding due to the dam collapse in Attapeu in 2018, among others.