How can we ensure the flood recovery budget is put to good use?

The government has approved a special budget of 500 billion kip to repair infrastructure that was damaged in last year’s floods with a special focus on roads and irrigation systems. People across the country are complaining about the poor condition of main roads and are urging the government to address the issue immediately. Vientiane Times sounded out public opinion on this perennial problem.

 

Mr Joy, a resident of Luang Prabang province: We all know that Laos was heavily affected by flooding last year and that widespread damage was caused to roads, bridges and many other structures. I would like to thank the government for what it has already done to restore infrastructure. A lot of money needs to be spent and I think the government needs to plan wisely about where the money will go and monitor all the repair work to ensure the regulations are complied with and the work is done according to budget agreements. The flood relief money should only be used for the repair and restoration of infrastructure that was already in use and should not be used to pay for new developments.  

Ms Kaenchan Phengdee, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: I don’t know much about this issue, but I think it’s good that the government appears to be paying close attention to recovery efforts following the floods. It is good to remind all sectors of government that they should work collaboratively in restoration projects and helping flood victims. Short and long term measures need to be considered as well as making sure the benefits of the investments filter through to all those affected, and not just a few. Of course, everyone in flood-hit communities should do what they can to help rebuild their own livelihoods.
Mr Sonphet Chanthavong, a student in Xayaboury province: Flooding is something no one wants to see but no one seems to be able to stop it happening. When disaster strikes, crops, rice fields, roads, bridges and houses can all suffer severe damage. When infrastructure is damaged, so often the health of populations is affected too. It is good that the government has approved a special budget to repair roads and bridges in all the provinces that were impacted by the floods.  Restoring irrigation systems is especially important so that agriculture can continue in the dry season, but everything is important. If all sectors work together and gain a clear understanding of the needs of affected communities, pay close attention to detail and respect the regulations, it is possible that the country could end up in a better state than it was previously.

Ms Vanh Khounsavanh, a resident of Vientiane: The flooding last year damaged both public and private property in many parts of the country.  As well as so many losing their lives, thousands of people also lost their homes and sources of income. I’m glad that the government has approved a budget to repair infrastructure that was damaged by the floods. While I know it is important for everyone to be patient as restoration work takes place, I also ask the authorities to show respect for the regulations and faithfully follow implementation plans so that the new amenities function properly and are completed on time.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 16, 2019)


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