Laying the Groundwork for WOBA in Laos

By December 14, 2018News, Thrive Water

Thrive Networks has been supporting the Lao government in developing their rural WASH sector since 2014. Through our comprehensive WASH programs, we will reach the 45% of rural households that do not have water connections and the 35% who still practice open defecation in our areas of intervention.

In September 2018, we initiated our four-year Women-Led Output-Based Aid (WOBA) program with support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency. This program has a special focus on low-income families with women, children, elderly members, and persons with disabilities (referred to as GESI or gender and social inclusion households).

In the project’s first three months, our Lao team focused on laying its foundation in partnership with the National Centre for Environmental Health and Water Supply or NamSaat (under the Ministry of Health) and Lao Women’s Union. Below are our key activities from September to November:

  • Assigned and trained 246 community volunteers in 80 villages on Thrive’s Output-Based Aid model and hygiene education initiatives.
  • Identified 239 low-income, GESI households in five villages in Kong District, Champasak province with additional barriers to accessing water and sanitation.
  • Conducted sanitation behavior change activities and consultation meetings in 80 villages, with participants from 67 households.
  • Completed site assessment and piped water system feasibility studies for two areas in Xayabury province in October. Results showed that both sites were suitable for the construction of new systems.
  • Recruited a water technician and an assistant water technician, who will oversee the construction of the piped water systems.

Everything is progressing well and we have been receiving abundant support from beneficiaries and partners. In the coming months, we will continue training community volunteers and having sanitation activities to educate families on WASH and motivate them to assemble latrines. Another activity is working with the government to select private operators who will build and manage the planned water infrastructure. We look forward to the coming year when construction efforts start so families can soon benefit from an abundant supply of clean water and sheltered toilets.