Around 900 students and teachers from vocational schools and colleges across 18 provinces got together for “Clean Up Laos Day”, an event organized by the European Union Delegation to Laos and the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The event was organized with the support of other partners including Vientiane City Office Management and Services, to raise awareness on environmental degradation.
Cleanup Laos is part of a broader EU campaign to raise public awareness on the concept of One Health. The One Health approach recognizes that human health is tightly connected to the health of animals and the environment, involving the public health, veterinary and environmental sectors.
Dr. Saysamone Ngamsy, Deputy Director General of the Technical and Vocational Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports and Mr. Niall Leonard, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Laos presided over the event as part of the One Health Awareness Campaign, supported by the EU.
“I am beyond thrilled to see this kind of event is taking place. It is a testament to the capacity and dutifulness of our nation’s youth and it is especially wonderful to note that every province in the country is represented at this event, making this occasion truly nationwide,” stated Dr. Saysamone Ngamsy, Deputy Director General of the Technical and Vocational Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports.
“Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world. The European Union is a strong advocate for clean up days across the globe.”
“Each time an event is held it brings the community together for a common cause, to reduce environmental degradation and to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity in spaces that we all share. Fresh air, clean water, healthy soil and biodiversity benefit everyone and forms the foundation of our EU Green Deal strategy,” Mr. Niall Leonard, EU Chargé d’Affaires said.
Students participated and cleaned a selected area of litter and learned about the impact of solid and aquatic waste on our environment, how microplastics causes environmental pollution, and stagnant water from waste can be the cause of vector-borne diseases, one of the main causes of malnutrition in the country.
Through this activity, people were also encouraged to be mindful and dispose of garbage in designated places. Improper disposal can lead to water retention in some areas which can foster breeding grounds for mosquitoes that cause malaria.
Led by their teachers, students from schools cleaned the area around their campuses at the same time on September 30. The entire activity was broadcast live through the Facebook Pages of One Health Laos, European Union in Laos and participating Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools and colleges.