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(Photo caption: Handover of AP 700 CL Manpack water treatment equipment to Champasak provincial Red Cross branch, photo by Lao Red Cross)

Muang Pakse District in Champasak Province is located in the southern part of Lao PDR which is disaster-prone, with 112,000 people living in the area. The district is bordered by Salavan Province to the north, Sekong Province to the northeast, Attapeu Province to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west.

This water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in emergencies (E-WASH) training for Red Cross Volunteers (RCV) was organized in two days in Muang Pakse District, Champasak Province, in preparedness of disaster management and risk reduction and health & hygiene promotion in this disaster affected area, from 25 to 26 October 2017.

The objectives of this training are:

  1. To improve the knowledge and skills about water and sanitation related disease in emergency and hygiene promotion of Red Cross Volunteers in four disaster -prone districts and 8 community leaders from the villages located in Muang Pakse District.
  2. To demonstrate water treatment and sanitation, hygiene promotion in emergencies.
  3. To familiarize with technical and practical aspects of the processes of water treatment and ensuring water quality by using AP700 CL Man-Packs and on temporary latrine / permanent latrine constructions during emergencies.
  4. To develop and discuss about E-WASH planning at district and community levels in preparedness and response in emergencies.
  5. To construct one latrine for Pak Klang Primary School with 123 students and 6 teachers.

 

The training was conducted in two days in Champasak Provincial Red Cross Branch, Muang Pakse, Champasak Province. There were 17 WASH focal persons from 7 districts under the Champasak branch, and 1 WASH focal person of the Ministry of Health were invited to participate in this RCV E-WASH training (Male 6, Female 11).

Lao RC has been receiving funding support from the Japanese Red Cross Society (JRCS) in strengthening emergency WASH capacity since 2016, focusing mainly on Khammuane province including the procurement and prepositioning of two water purification units (one at that province and one at the national headquarters in Vientiane).

In 2017, JRCS continues to support LRC in the same capacity, where LRC has expanded its geographical scope to also include Oudomxay and Champasak Provinces. These targeted provinces are known to be affected by floods on a yearly basis due to its close vicinity to the Mekong river and various tributaries that run along these provinces.

Both training days started with theoretical sessions and table-top exercises, and the second half of both days were mainly focused on practical sessions i.e. installation of the water purification unit Aquaplus AP 700 CL (first day) and construction of a pour-flush toilet (second day).

A variety of training methods were utilised such as use of IEC materials, PowerPoint presentations, videos, group exercises and demonstrations. Pre- and post-tests, as well as evaluations were carried out. (Picture caption: The Red Cross Volunteers checking the turbidity and PH of water after water treatment during the training).

The five key topics of Emergency WASH are: water treatment demonstration by using AP700 CL Man-Packs, hygiene promotion, group work discussion, “Chlorine Water Treatment, Filtration, Chemical Water treatment”, temporary / permanent latrine construction, health education practices using community tool focusing on three diseases and 7 steps of hand washing were highlighted and demonstrated to participants.

The results of True & False pre- test and post- test with 13 questions shown that the participants’ knowledge and skills were significantly increased from 78% to 97% respectively.

Dr Sing Menorath, the Vice President of Lao Red Cross, mentioned that the continuous support for implementing WASH program from IFRC to Laos is really needed because current WASH implementation only reached four provinces. The AP700 CL Man-Packs is very useful in helping the vulnerable people in disaster effected areas.

Suodsakhon Sripandhon, one of the participants, stated that both the practical and theory sessions were very important for all of participants. “These training sessions were totally new for us, water treatment, turbidity measurement, filtration process and health hygiene promotion are very interesting for the trainees, and are very helpful for their communication with villagers and communities.”

 

Supporting documents:

 

For more information please contact: Dr Bounma Xayasouk, Head of Health Promotion Department, Lao Red Cross Headquarter: bounma_xayasouk@hotmail.com and Dr Pornsak Khortwong, IFRC Bangkok: pornsak.khortwong@ifrc.org

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Supporting Documents