Homes for Attapeu Flood Victims Remain Incomplete

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Construction project for victims of the 2018 Attapeu dam collapse
Construction of houses for victims of the 2018 Attapeu dam collapse.

A housing construction project for victims of the 2018 dam collapse in Attapeu Province has yet to be completed.

Villagers’ homes were swept away in massive floods when the saddle dam at the Xe Pian-Xenam Noy hydropower project collapsed after heavy rains in July 2018, leaving 40 people dead and thousands living in emergency shelters.

The project to complete a total of 700 houses commenced in June 2020, valued at USD 24.5 million, with funds provided by the developers of the dam.

By June 2021, a year later, the project was 60 percent complete.

Governor of Sanamxay District, in Attapeu Province, Mr. Soulivong Aphayvong, told Lao National Radio in an interview yesterday that the housing construction project was being undertaken by contractor, Vanseng Construction Development Company.

He said that some 401 of the 700 houses have been completed and handed over to flood victims, while a further 299 houses were still under construction.

“Construction is almost complete but the structures can’t be handed over to villagers yet,” said Mr. Soulivong.

“Overall, the project is around 88% complete,” he said.

A number of factors have led to the project experiencing delays, according to Mr. Soulivong, including weather conditions, the incomplete subdivision of land, and poor access to the site.

Mr. Soulivong said that the Covid-19 pandemic and intermittent lockdowns had made sourcing labor from other provinces difficult.

After discussions with the contractor and other relevant parties, it is expected that the final 299 homes will be complete by April.

Following the disaster, the United Nations financed the construction of an additional 66 houses, with the Thai government funding another 35 homes.