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Laos riverside stretch protected from floods
Publication Date : 13-01-2014
A joint venture between Laos and the Republic of Korea has seen construction completed on 12.2 kilometres of riverside protection along the Mekong River in inner-city Vientiane.
The newly constructed flood protection runs from Dankham village in Sikhottabong district to the KM3 Road in Thatkhao village, Sisattanak district.
The project, which falls under the Mekong River Integrated Management Project, is a priority of the Lao government.
For the project's construction phase, the Lao government utilised a US$37.2 million loan from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund of the Republic of Korea. The loan has an interest rate 0.5 percent, term of 30 years and grace period of 10 years.
The riverside protection here is a symbol of friendship and cooperation between Korea and Laos, Deputy Prime Minster, Minister of Strategy and Finance of Republic of Korea Hyun-Oh-Seok, said at the handover ceremony for the project on Friday.
“Vientiane is located along the Mekong River and is a centre for economics, politics and society in the Indochina Penisula and Laos, but was vulnerable to floods, causing anxiety to local residents,” he said.
Over the past two decades Laos and Korea have expanded exchanges in various fields including economy, society, culture and tourism.
The riverside protection project was initiated in 2009 and construction was completed at the end of 2013.
As well as protection from flooding, the project has developed an attractive public space at the wall at Don Chan Island in front of Anouvong Park. The park has become a popular area for Vientiane residents to relax and exercise.
“This place has also made a convenient road that can reduce some of the traffic congestion in the city,” Vientiane Mayor Soukan Mahalath said.
“The bank of the river in front of Vat Chan temple has also become a viewing point for the city's boat racing festival in October.”
According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Laos has lost over 80 square kilometres of land along the bank of the Mekong River since 1975. It disappeared into the river due to a lack of riverbank protection.
The Mekong floods primarily during wet season around July and August on its way through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
This flooding can sometimes inundate areas adjacent to the river, affecting industrial factories, houses, schools, roads and agricultural land located nearby.
Residents of villages in the affected areas were happy that riverbank protection works were being undertaken along this stretch of the river, but there are still many areas along the riverbank where there is no flood protection at all.