GoAL WaSH Laos

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UNDP GoAL WaSH stands for UNDP's programme on Governance, Advocacy and Leadership for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, an initiative to scale up water and sanitation services for the poor.


The GoAL WaSH Project in Laos

Scope of the Project

The Lao GoAL WaSH project aims to enhance pro-poor water governance in Lao People's Democratic Republic by assisting the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to:

(a) Develop a National Water Supply Sector Strategy

(b) Develop a database with designs of water supply treatment plants of various capacities for use with smaller communities, and

(c) Promote best practices and incentivizing governance reform by supporting pilot demonstration projects under the UN-HABITAT MEK-WATSAN programme.

These initiatives will enable the Government of Lao PDR to clearly establish targets and enable the development partners and other stakeholders to provide strategic and coordinated support. It also supports the government’s policy of developing small district towns as economic and service centers in the rural districts.

The Challenges Addressed

Although Lao PDR is essentially a rural country, the small towns are playing an increasingly important role in the country’s economy as centers of marketing and agricultural processing in their largely rural districts, as economic links between rural, national and international markets, and as places offering non-farm employment to the rural poor. In 2007, it was estimated that piped water supply coverage in the small towns was only 21% compared to combined coverage of 70% in the five largest towns. Inadequate water supply and poor environmental conditions in the small towns deter socio-economic development and restricts the ability of small towns to serve as centres supporting their surrounding rural areas.

The Approach

The project consists of two main elements:

  • Water Sector Strategy: This will be developed through active engagement and consultations with the different stakeholders from Government and other national/international organizations active in the water sector in the country. Existing laws, regulations and policies will be reviewed in the process of the sector strategy development.
  • Database on design of water treatment plants: Review of the design and costs of water treatment plants will be carried out to capacitate the government to undertake informed decisions on new water supply projects in un-served areas.

The Actions

  • Preparation of the pro-poor national sector water supply strategy

(a) Study of existing laws, regulations and policies

(b) Stakeholder consultations

(c) Drafting of the strategy document, and

(d) Dissemination of the strategy to Stakeholders

  • Establishment of a database with design of water supply treatment plants of various capacities ready for use with smaller communities of the size between about 2,000 inhabitants to about 5,000 inhabitants. This database will be designed to ensure pro-poor water investment in small towns.

Links & Resources

Water for Asian Cities [1]

UN-HABITAT’s global website [2]

See also


GoAL WaSH Bosnia-Herzegovina

GoAL WaSH Cambodia

GoAL WaSH El Salvador

GoAL WaSH Kyrgyzstan

GoAL WaSH Liberia

GoAL WaSH Madagascar

GoAL WaSH Mongolia

GoAL WaSH Niger

GoAL WaSH Paraguay

GoAL WaSH Tajikistan

GoAL WaSH Togo


For more information regarding GoAL WaSH in Laos, please contact:

  • Mr. Avi Sarkar

Regional Technical Advisor, South-East Asia

Water for Asian Cities Programme & MEK-WATSAN Initiative, UN-HABITAT


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