How do Asian Development Bank projects benefit Laos?

Many communities in Laos need better infrastructure, jobs, education and healthcare.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) contributes a lot of assistance in this regard with Oudomxay being one of the beneficiary provinces. Vientiane Times went to the province and asked some local residents what they thought about ADB-funded projects.

Kaysone Phomvihane’s statue in his museum. --Photo tourismlaos website

MrNanjoyInthasone, owner of a homestay in Yor village: I’m glad that our village has been supported by the GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project as it has helped my family. Before receiving assistance from the ADB project I was farming, and it was just enough to live on. This project allowed me to get more income by turning my house into a homestay for visitors and hosting more than 20 people a month. Now, we can get a stable income to pay for my children’s higher education and our living conditions are better than in the past. I would like to thank ADB for giving me a chance to participate in their project. If possible, I would like to learn more about hospitality services to improve our homestay so we can earn more money in the future.

MsKesoneChanthasak, a pottery maker in Yor village: In the past, we only grew rice and sweetcorn. We were poor and a big family, so I needed to leave school to help my parents with their work. Now, we have better living conditions than in past because the ADB project helped my parents with pottery making. It’s helped my family get more income and have more customers. Sometimes we don’t have enough products to supply the customers because we still use traditional methods and don’t have enough modern equipment, so our production is quite slow. I would like to call on the ADB or other organisations to give me training on designing pottery and using modern techniques to improve our products to meet customer demand.        

Ms Nam Thavixay, a resident of Chom Ong village, Xay district: I would like to give a million thanks to the ADB for building a new 40-km road to our village. It has been quite difficult to get to the nearest town and we can only use a motorbike or walk because the road is very narrow. When the new road is completed it will help us to travel to other villages and allow visitors to come to our village and to Chom Ong cave. In addition, when people come to the cave, they will also experience more of our lifestyle. I hope when the project is complete it will encourage more local people to switch from just growing rice and sweetcorn to other types of organic farming and providing tourism services.

MsSomemaiXaynousone, a resident of Chom Ong village: I think the project has benefited everyone here in Oudomxay. When the new road is completed it will improve transport enormously and especially help with trade because almost all households are farming families, but they grow only enough to feed themselves. They cannot plant crops to sell in the market because there’s no transport available. In addition, when Chom Ong cave is improved with support from the project, villagers will be able to do other jobs and get more income to improve their living conditions. It will encourage women in our village to weave more textiles to sell as souvenirs and preserve our traditional culture while earning more money.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update December 22, 2018)

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