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S. Korea technology builds dam safety management system

In recent years, there is no doubt that the threat to the stability of infrastructure due to climate change has become a very urgent social problem.
In particular, more than 70 percent of Laos is mountainous, and the population living in rural areas accounts for about 67 percent, representing two-thirds of the total population.
In other words, the safety of the agricultural population is threatened by climate change and, in particular, agricultural production infrastructure such as dams, weirs and waterways are exposed to the threat of collapse.

A bird’s eye view of the Ban Tham Irrigation Dam in Xieng Khuang province.

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale occurred near Luang Prabang recently and abnormal rainfall has been occurring more frequently in recent years, which is a significant part and effect of climate change.
We also remember the loss of life and property due to the collapse of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy saddle dam in 2018.
In line with the needs of the times to ensure public safety, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Laos have completed the Post Management Project for the Ban Tham Irrigation Dam in Xieng Khuang province, as a pilot project to establish a dam safety management system in Laos.
MAFRA designated the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) as an agency of this project, which selected ASIN C&T as the Project Management Consultant, being a consulting firm specialising in dam safety management in Korea.
In Laos, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry designated the Department of Irrigation as the implementing agency to carry out the project with KRC.
The Ban Tham Irrigation Dam in Xieng Khuang was built under the Irrigation Based Rural Development Project from 2014 to 2017 and funded by an Official Development Assistance (ODA) grant of US$4.1 million from MAFRA.
It has a reservoir capacity of one million cubic metres, while the dam wall is 28 metres high. There are two intake structures and channels measuring 7.3km in length. It can supply water to over 250 hectares in the three villages of Ban Tham, Ban Hoi and Ban Phonexay.

Officials regularly carry out safety checks at the dam.
Capacity building for dam safety.

Since the dam was built, water has been supplied to rice fields and other crop areas in line with the objectives of the project, such as the cultivation of cash crops.
This has enabled farmers and other people in the area to improve the quality and quantity of their harvests and also to improve their standard of living.  Construction of the Ban Tham Irrigation Dam began in 2014 and was completed in 2017, and dam operation and maintenance began in 2018.
This post-management project was implemented over three months in 2021 based on four components, namely the establishment of a long-term development plan for a Dam Safety Management System, dam safety assessment, dam safety management document including an Operations & Maintenance Plan, Instrumentation Plan and Emergency Preparedness Plan, and dam safety training for officials in charge to maintain the dam properly, as well as DOI engineers and related officials.
The pilot project for the Dam Safety Management System was successfully completed through close cooperation between KRC and the Department of Irrigation.
In October 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry asked MAFRA to support the establishment of a Dam Safety Management System.
Deputy Director General of the Department of Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ms Bounthiene Vongkayone said “Based on this post management project, the department will actively carry out and prepare the dam safety management system.”
“In particular, in case of an emergency such as a dam collapse, an emergency preparedness plan is urgently needed, including a flooding and evacuation map and an early warning system,” she added.

By Advertorial Desk
(Latest Update December 29, 2021)


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