Ministry Outlines Plans To Tackle Flooding In Vientiane

Source: Vientiane Times

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport is looking at ways to resolve the city’s perennial flooding problem which, despite years of promises, has not improved.

Addressing the National Assembly on Wednesday, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Dr Viengsavath Siphandone, said the root cause of the problem was that plans to ease the situation had been poorly managed and not carried out satisfactorily.

Construction work often did not comply with planning regulations, while drainage channels and ponds frequently became clogged or were filled in, he said.

The ministry plans to strengthen and enforce existing legislation and monitor Vientiane’s drainage system while also striving to ensure that urban planning regulations are met.

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In the provinces, the ministry will survey areas that regularly flood to determine the cause and attempt to prevent flooding through the use of suction and more effective drainage, with the aim of accommodating a greater volume of water, Dr Viengsavath said.

In the rainy season, roads quickly become flooded after heavy rain because drains are blocked.

According to the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department, this year Vientiane authorities plan to spend 20 billion kip to tackle the problem of flooding in the rainy season.

The money will be used to resolve flooding issues in both the immediate and long term, with various responsibilities for this work to be allocated to different government agencies.

Drainage channels will be cleared, repaired and enlarged, while plants and debris will be removed to clear blockages and prevent water levels rising during heavy rain.

The department is partnering with the Vientiane City Office for Management and Services and officials from the capital’s nine districts to deal with the city’s flooding problems.