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EU amplifies food and nutrition security in Khammuan 

The European Union (EU) continues to support Laos in implementing a food and nutrition security project across 100 villages in six districts of Khammuan province.

The initiative includes the provision of public address systems with loudspeakers announcing vital health and nutrition information to raise awareness in many communities.

Since the beginning of 2019, project partners Health Poverty Action (HPA), Humana Fundación Pueblo para Pueblo (Humana FPP) and Khammuan Province Health Office (PHO) have been implementing a food and nutrition security project in 100 villages, six districts of Khammuan province.

The districts include Bualapha, Mahaxay, Thakhaek, Nhommalath, Xaybuathong and Khounkham.
The project is funded by the European Union under their Partnership for Improved Nutrition in Laos. It aims to increase the availability of and access to nutritious food, create an environment that is conducive to improved nutrition, and strengthen authorities’ capacities on food and nutrition security.

The programme aims to inclusively change communities’ behaviour with regards to health and nutrition. Conveying nutrition-sensitive knowledge to communities through loudspeaker announcements is one sustainable way of achieving this goal. Disseminating key messages to the public through loudspeakers is a quick and easy way of reaching the whole village without having to notify every family individually. 

HPA is promoting nutrition awareness and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the target villages and has been distributing loudspeakers to 68 villages in six districts, which did not previously have their own speaker system: six villages in Thakhek, 13 villages in Khounkham, 17 villages in Bualapha, five villages in Xaybuathong, 16 villages in Nhommalath and 11 villages in Mahaxay. 
Each set includes amplifiers, speakers, signal and microphone cables, a microphone tripod and a USB flash drive with four key messages on nutrition, breastfeeding, supplements for children under 2 years as well as hygiene and sanitation advice.

While villages can use these loudspeakers for any other announcements, development partners and other stakeholders working within the project’s target area will also be able to use the systems for their own messaging and education efforts. HPA has additionally provided communities with crucial messages on Covid-19 prevention.

In addition, the project has established five-person committees in each village who will be in charge of equipment usage and maintenance. 

Two committee members are representatives from village authorities to supervise and monitor the broadcasting activities, and three members are village nutrition volunteers responsible for cooperating with the village authorities on organising broadcasting of essential messages. 

The project team has trained these committees on their roles and responsibilities and established a weekly and monthly activity plan for village nutrition volunteers to ensure the new loudspeaker systems will be used efficiently and maintained properly. 

ByViengdavanh Banphahaksa
(Latest Update April 02, 2020)

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