Flood prevention committee urged to explain project to villagers
A village authority member in Xaythany district, Vientiane has called on the drought and flood prevention committee to explain the importance of the ongoing Huay Khean channel upgrade to landholders in Nongbua village.
The Huay Khean channel upgrade is one of 14 projects in Xaythany district to prevent possible flooding during the coming rainy season. The 6 km project has started in Nongbua village first and will also pass through Nasala, Dongbang, Namon and Nongbua villages.
A Nongbua village authority member, who asked to remain anonymous, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that some property owners who have land in close proximity to the existing channel are reluctant give up any land to the contractor to upgrade the channel according to the design.
The local official said he attempted to explain the value of the project several times, but the problem still remains unresolved. He called for the relevant committee at higher district level to explain the project to landowners to ensure the channel development proceeds as designed. Head of Agriculture and Forestry office in Xaythany district, Mr Thongsouk Bualikhan, who is on the district drought and flood prevention committee joined other committee members on Wednesday to visit the project site.
Mr Thongsouk informed Vientiane Times the same day he met and talked to the village headman while visiting the project and advised him to talk directly to the affected property owners to ensure they understood.The committee member referred to the land regulations which state the reservation area for existing channel is 15 metres either side from its centre.
“According to the design the channel should have 4 metre wide roads both sides, be 6 to 8 metres wide and 2 to 3 metres deep,” he said.
The committee member said the channel would be cleaned every two or three years depending on budget support and villagers would also benefit from the service roads along the channel. The Houay Khean channel upgrade project commenced on February 23 and work is expected to be completed by June 30. The project will reduce the risk of flooding in the four villages during the rainy season with water released into Namngum River, the second largest in the country. The total length from Houay Khean to Numngum River is 36 km but the district authority is initially conducting the 6 km upgrade.
Mr Thongsouk said the project was not receiving any budget support, but the authority had allowed contractors to sell excavated soil from the channel as compensation. Other upgrade projects under way include Namkheam channel in Nathom village and another in Nakhearkham village while the channel along the 450 Year Road has been completed.
The channel upgrades in Xaythany district are part of efforts by Vientiane authorities to reduce the impact of flooding with other districts also carrying out similar work.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 24, 2017)