Vision Building process for a water sensitive Sam Neua/Laos initiated


As outcome of the Base Line Assessment and its strategic recommendation the local and provincial government in Sam Neua requested to start a process to apply the PolyUrbanWaters approach in two villages that are exposed to rapid transformation towards an urban area. Strong investments in residential homes are observed barely following urban planing guidelines. The interest of government agencies is to ensure a proactive planing and its implementation that ensures

  •  a multi-functional use of the areas (residential and commercial uses, public spaces, community facilities, etc.),
  • a strong resilience against increasingly emerging flood events and mud slides and
  • an effective provision of water related public services.

With support of the PolyUrbanWaters team, representatives of government agencies and village leaders identified existing and upcoming vulnerabilities of the areas. Out of this analysis, potential fields of interventions have been identified such as protection of green areas that may serve as water buffer zones, areas that may be developed as green public spaces, integrated approaches for strom water management, establishment of zones not suitable for construction because of related risks, establishment of zones for protection of fresh water resources.

Identification of  potential fields of watersensitive interventions

  • Rapid deforestation and land use change of paddy fields result during rainy session into rapid drainage of stormwater threatening not only families living and the narrow valley but the whole city.   Protection of upstream strategic green areas, the establishment of water retention bassins and the relocation of residents to less vulnerable zones have been envisaged. (mpg-movie)
  • Water pollution: Rapid urbanisation without adaquate waste water management infrastructure (today observed in city/town center) may be observed in near future in the villages and extension areas too. (mpg-movie)
  • Assessing water erosion induced risks for settlements of poorer sections of urban population. The high risk exposure of the settlements is evident. Relocation of residents is urgent to avoid impacts on lifes and assets. (mpg-movie)
  • Assessing needs for proactive development of water related infrastructure: Curently, in new extension areas infrastructure development follows construction activites. This practice lead to significant gaps of water related basic needs services. It is envisaged with the elaboration and implementation of detailed urban planing guidelines, these shortcomings of water infrastructure development can effectively be addressed.