Nambak Ethnic Boarding School Water Project, Northern Laos

This project is our featured project for the season. With over 600 students including primary and secondary, 39 teachers (most who live in small, shared dormitories on site), the school is sponsored by the Provincial Government for the most part. A vegetable field, tended to, by the students and a small fish pond augment the food supply for the students and live-in teachers. Up until now, the students were being fed twice per day, Monday through Friday, with only rice being offered on the weekends. Their water cost is not supported by the government at a cost of $10,000 to $12,000 USD per year. Our goal was to eliminate this cost, in favour of supporting the students food supply. In order to do this, Adopt A Village in Laos agreed to drill two water wells, provide water tanks and tie into the existing infrastructure, in addition to repairs needs for taps that didn’t work. It is exciting to see the results. Lets get acquainted with the school;

Student Body – Morning Attendance Check
More students
Student Assembly
So many students!

Boys Dormitory
Girls Common Area where they bathe and wash their clothes
School Kitchen
School Cafeteria?
Cafeteria #2
Drill Rig
Water Tanks and more Cement arrive
Students Assist the Workers to Raise the Water Tank into Position
Finished Product – Boys Tank
Official Handover of the Inaugural Pipe Wrenches
Selection of Students to Join in the Celebration
Thank You For Making a Positive Difference. Without You, This Could Not Have Been Done!
Special Thanks Also go to The Rotary Club of Scarborough, The Rotary Club of Whitby Sunrise, and HMA for their Annual Support

5 More Rural Lao Villages with Clean Water

It is always so fulfilling and encouraging to be able to provide water filters for the northern, rural villages in Laos. We see the suffering from a lack of clean water. Disease from water borne bacteria increases infant mortality, shortens lifespans, and reduces productivity and learning. So far this season, our Lao team has distributed family water filters to 5 more villages and a primary school, including Ban Sang Primary School with 7 filters, Ban Longkham with 137 families, Naluang with 51 systems, Ban Pakhan with 131 units, Ban Topnai with 82 systems and Ban Yaro with 91 units. So far, these two distributions have provided for about 2,450 villagers. Two thirds of these systems were financed through our dear friends Barbara Seagram and Patti Lee, who teach bridge and have done an annual fundraiser for many years. In addition, many personal friends, friends of Rotary and Rotarians have contributed to the success of this program over the years. Our heartfelt thanks go to each and every one of you, who continue to make this world a better place. Here are some highlights;

Ban Sang Primary School
Ban Longkham – picture taken in front of the school
NaLuang Village
NaLuang Village Children and Students – picture taken in front of the village sign
Pakkhan – Villagers eagerly learn about hygiene, how the filter works, filter maintenance
Pakkhan Students pose in the school yard
Topnai – students smiling for the camera. We must have given them treats!
Filters supplied to Ban Yaro and the public school

It is hoped that the team will be able to do one more smaller filter distribution in the coming weeks, to add to these villages. With a new Covid Lockdown, it may have to wait, although Laos has done an excellent job at border control, limiting the spread of infection in their country to 64, at the time of this post.

Poung Jong Permanent Water Supply

The first water project of the season was completed just a couple of weeks ago. This village of Poung Jong has over 300 residents consisting of Hmong and Khmu ethnic backgrounds. Their main income is from tobacco, with most of it going to China. During the off season, the women focus on their weaving for sales of their Lao Skirts in Luang Prabang. The village has no electricity and up until now, they had no permanent water supply.

Construction of a Tobacco Drying Tower
Completion of a typical Tobacco Drying Tower. Walls are made of a mixture of mud and grasses.
Villager weaving a new Lao skirt

During the lockdown around the world, entry to Laos has been blocked so travel there by team members and project visitors was not possible. It meant that more paid labour was required at the sites, more coordination and management from Canada (with a 12 hour time zone difference), delays in getting pipe and connectors into the country and fundraising has been more of a challenge than ever before. As expected, many of our usual donors have chosen to support our local food banks, PPE (personal protective equipment) and other emergency supplies to those struggling here at home. However, the project targets were eventually reached! Here are some highlights of the Poung Jong project.

Due to the location of the dam, a trial setup was prepared in the village to ensure that all materials were available and forms prepared for the trek to the dam location.
The forms were then transported to the site, located more than 6km away.
Dam Construction, generally done by the men of the village
There are several compartments in the dam containing various sizes of rock and stone to filter out sediment before its 6km journey to the village
Pipe is unraveled and laid in pre-dug trenches from the dam to the location of the water tank in the village
Water tank cures while the village constructs a safety fence around the tank to prevent the children from climbing it and jumping off…only to get hurt.
Finished water tank.
The Ultimate Goal…Running Water!
The official handover of the inaugural pipe wrench to end the project and hand over to the village. They are a very happy village now!
This project was funded in its entirety by 18 Rotary Clubs across 7 Districts in Canada and a Grant from stretching from coast-to-coast and a grant from Rotary District 7070

We offer our sincerest of thanks to all the Rotary members that raised the funds and made positive change for this village. THANK YOU!