Zero Waste Laos Volunteers Tackle Air Pollution in Vientiane Capital

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Zero Waste Laos Volunteers Raise Awareness of Air Pollution

A campaign activity to raise awareness of the problem of air pollution among local people was undertaken on Saturday by Zero Waste Laos in Khamhoung Village, Xaythay District.
Zero Waste Laos organized the activity to raise awareness of air pollution and its causes, one of which includes burning waste.

“Catan team,” one of the winning teams from the Youths for SDGs Laos event held in December last year, implemented the project under the supervision and support of Zero Waste Laos, with seed funds provided by UNFPA.

Volunteers from ADRF Laos and students from the Faculty of Environmental Science, National University of Laos, joined the event.

Zero Waste Laos volunteers speak to villagers about the harmful effects of open burning
Zero Waste Laos volunteers speak to villagers about the harmful effects of open burning.

Some 40 villagers from Khamhoung village participated in the half-day activities, which included education about air pollution and the harmful effects of burning garbage. The volunteers also introduced home composting to participants as a solution for dealing with home waste.

Community members showed their interest in making compost from organic waste and are to trial the methods learned in their homes.

Catan team has set a target to enact change in 30 households for their pilot phase.

Villagers learn about the benefits of home composting
Villagers learn about the benefits of home composting.

“Waste management and air pollution are becoming big issues in Laos, with open burning a major problem,” says Souksaveuy Keotiamchanh, founder of Zero Waste Laos.

“We are focusing on taking action by involving youth to make change. Today, we are very proud to see these young people gathering to solve the problem together. Changing the behavior of people from the grass-roots level is key, as well as regulations and enforcement”

The team from Zero Waste Laos plans to tackle another two issues in the future, including strategies for recycling and sustainable consumption models, as well as agriculture and adaptation to climate change.

The Lao government is closely monitoring air quality across the country as pollution levels rise, causing health concerns.

Vientiane Capital officially banned the burning of garbage in December 2019, establishing a hotline to report such offenses, however, the practice continues.