Implementing partner Houphan & Luang Phrabang provinces
GERBERA GmbH is a commercial company based in Germany.
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through a bilateral agreement
with the Government of Lao PDR, contracted Gerbera in late 1996 to support
UXO LAO by providing clearance and awareness in Houaphan province. Since
April 1998, Gerbera has also been developing the national clearance capacity
in Luang Prabang province.
Luang Prabang province is seriously affected by the presence of UXO. Areas with significant war activity included the main road south that linked the province with Vientiane , and the airport at Nambak. Since the end of the war there has been a high rate of recorded UXO-related accidents, in particular in the districts of Nambak and Ngoi that remain priorities for UXO Lao.
Luang Prabang province is located in the north of Lao PDR. The province comprises 10 districts. It is mountainous and heavily forested throughout. The provincial capital, Luang Prabang town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the area has become an extremely popular tourist destination, serviced by international air links.
The province has a population of 365,333 (1995 census), and the main ethnic groups are Khamu, Lao Thai and Hmong. Other smaller population groups include Phou Thai, Leu and Nyoan. In remote areas, economic activities include rice and other crop production, and animal and poultry raising on a subsistence basis. Hunting and foraging supplement what the people can produce. Along the roads, agricultural activities are carried out for both personal consumption and to supply local markets. There is also a limited amount of small industry to satisfy markets in Luang,Prabang. Tourism is a large industry in Luang Prabang town, and this is expanding to the districts supported by good road systems. Much local industry around Luang Prabang supports the tourist industry .
Luang Prabang is the tenth most severely UXO-contaminated province in Laos , with Nambak district identified as highest priority for clearance. UXO contamination reflects the history of the war, in particular with regards to two major land battles that took place in the province: the first in the late 1960s around the district town of Nambak and the second, in the early 1970s, at the Phoukoune crossroads in the south of the province. UXO contamination generally follows a north-south line between these two areas with some lesser contamination in the eastern districts. Statistics indicate that the accident rate in Luang Prabang is higher than the UXO contamination rate would suggest.
UXO LAO commenced working in Luang Prabang in April 1998. Since then, our teams have cleared 541 hectares of land and have disposed of more than 16,465 items of UXO. Community Awareness Teams have visited 439 villages, reach more than 223,650 people.
The German company, Gerbera GmbH, has been assisting UXO LAO in Luang Prabang since April 1998, with funding support from German Government.
Area clearance operations will seek to clear land for the poorest families. In line with UXO Lao ‘ s overall mandate and priorities, clearance will provide safe land for agriculture and irrigation projects, new schools and villages, clean water and the other development projects.
The UXO Lao workplan calls for teams to work in 6 districts, complete 85 tasks, estimated to benefit over 8000 people through the clearance of over 144 hectares of land.
Assistance to specific development projects, implemented by other agencies will include:
November to December 2004
• 20,560 square meters for projects in Phoukoune district funded by the Lao Government
• 2,486 square metres for a public health project in Phoukoune district, funded by the Lao Government
• 10,993 square meters for 2 School Contruction Projects in 2 villages in Phoukou district funded by the Japanese Government and implemented by JICA
Roving Teams will visit 56 villages in Luang Prabang, Xieng Ngeun, Park Ou, Nambak, Ngoi, Pakxeng, Phonxay, Viengkham and Phoukhoune districts .
The teams will continue with their on-going programme of village visits. In 2004, they intend to visit 56 villages and bring UXO avoidance and risk education messages to 26,075 people. To expand the reach and ensure the sustainability of the programme they will seek to train village volunteers, mostly in remote, high UXO impact areas of the province.
The survey teams working in the province will visit 56 villages in the following districts: Luang Prabang, Xieng Ngeun, Park Ou, Nambak, Ngoi, Pakxeng, Phonxay, Viengkham and Phoukhoune. These village visits are tasked both from the annual work planning process, and are officially requested by district and village level authorities, and also as a result of requests that come directly from the community for roving team assistance. This last is often received by UXO Lao as a result of information gathered by the Community Awareness teams in the course of their village visits.