Borikhamxay approves funding to shore up eroding riverbank
Borikhamxay province Administration Office has decided on a budget to rebuild the embankment at the Pakxun-Bueng Kan border crossing between Laos and Thailand in Pakxun district.
A provincial official, Mr Keoudone Luangsouvannavong, told Vientiane Times on Monday that the administration office had approved the sum of 20 billion kip to shore up 300 metres of the Mekong riverbank where ground supporting fencing at the Pakxon border has eroded.
The province had previously requested funding from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
“The Borikhamxay Governor decided the province could afford to finance the work. We didn't want to trouble the ministry unduly because other provinces also need money for embankment restoration,” he said.
Rebuilding of a 300m section of the riverbank is expected to be finished before the start of the wet season in June this year.
A line of fencing at the Pakxun border disappeared into the Mekong last year during the wet season due to erosion.
Borikhamxay also plans to protect an 820 metre section of the Mekong riverbank at the border area in Nakhaneua village, Thaphabath district, and another 700 metres near Phabathphonson village in the same district.
The riverbank in these two villages began to crumble in 2012. The province surveyed 197 kilometres along the Mekong in the districts of Pakxan, Thaphabath and Pakkading which revealed that a 79km section of riverbank was in need of an embankment, but those sections are still awaiting funding from the ministry.
The repair of riverbank erosion is a priority for next year, with 3,140 metres of the Mekong and its tributaries in three provinces to be shored up, a senior ministry official has said.
The work would be carried out at four places to tackle erosion and reinforce 3,140 metres of riverbank in the provinces of Borikhamxay, Xayaboury and Bokeo.
According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the repairs along the Mekong and other rivers would cost about 4,369 billion kip.
Some 289km of riverbank along the Mekong in various parts of the country and along the Heuang River in Xayaboury province have crumbled, and about 120km has been protected with embankments.
There are now about 169 kilometres of riverbank that are affected by erosion.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update February 7, 2017)