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MPWT, Local Governments Consider Infrastructure Investments to Improve Quality of Life in Lao PDR

February 26, 2020
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At the inception workshops conducted in Kaysone Phomvihane, Pakse, Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) together with local leaders agreed to formulate city livability plans to help identify infrastructure investments that will support their development priorities and livable city aspirations.
 
The new ‘elevated’ cities of Kaysone Phomvihane, Pakse and Luang Prabang are recipients of the CDIA grant funding for project preparation study that will identify and prepare infrastructure projects for solid waste management, wastewater management, and streetscape improvement. The inputs will then be incorporated into the Livable Cities Investment Program of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Lao PDR, programmed for 2021.

The proposed city livability plan, while emphasizing resilient and sustainable urban growth, will have the flexibility to allow for the identification of infrastructure and other development investments based on the unique context of each city – their priority needs; available resources; and changing local, national and global conditions. Stakeholder engagement and institutional development are integral to this plan.

The inception workshop held 29 January 2020 in Kaysone Phomvihane brought to the fore critical issues and priorities of the local government. Keen to make the city more attractive to tourists, officials have lined up enhancement of roads, environmental monitoring, landfill improvement, 100% waste collection coverage, and natural drainage improvements among their priority measures.

Meanwhile, the workshop held 31 January 2020 in Pakse focused on how to improve the quality of urban life through the construction of ring road and bridge across Xedon, among other measures. CDIA’s PPS will consider the enhancement of urban services like 100% waste collection coverage, road safety and streetlighting, and decentralized wastewater system which are built on past and recent infrastructure investments supported by ADB.

Finally, the inception workshop held 03 February 2020 in Luang Prabang saw the priority of the city leaning towards preserving its cultural heritage status. To complement this and enhance livability, measures such as setting up of parks; safety, monitoring and ‘smart’ surveillance to ensure public safety; as well as improvements in solid waste and wastewater management were among those deemed essential.

Some of the identified infrastructure projects are not part of the scope of the PPS but CDIA is in a position to leverage city and donor relations to explore potential financing for downstream investments.

Following the three workshops, a central workshop attended by various stakeholders comprising local officials, MPWT, other ministries, ADB and other development partners was conducted on 06 February 2020 in Vientiane.

High level officials, namely provincial vice governors, city mayors/vice mayors and senior officials confirmed the initial assessments done by the CDIA project team. A broad agreement was also elicited on the scope of the project and the overarching aim to direct urban planning towards developing livable city plans for the three cities.

 

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Photos of Inception Workshops in Kaysone Phomvihane, Pakse, Luang Prabang and Vientiane:

 

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