Our season started late due to various issues, most caused by Covid lockdowns, but it is currently underway, with due haste. We never know if there will be another lockdown with the latest variant. To speed things up a little, our coordinator has been working around the clock in many cases to negotiate, order materials and deliver to two of the three project sites. Ban Kachait, with the help of the villagers, will receive a permanent water supply with a water dam, 5.6km of pipe, a water tank and taps throughout the village.
The third, smaller water project in Sommeun will begin as soon as Kachait is up and running.
We were pretty lucky to receive the pipe before the costs went up as of Jan 1. The pipe for Sommeun is being stored at our coordinators farm for now. With a devalued currency by about 17% over the last year or so, it has been challenging country-wide.
For the Nambak Ethnic Boarding School, it was found that there were only 14 working toilets for over 600 students and 39 teachers, all of whom live on-site. Imagine trying to get ready for school in the mornings. Our original plan was to add a bank of 4 toilets for the girls and another bank of 4 for the boys, however there are a lot more boys than girls attending school. As such, it was decided to build 3 for the girls and 5 for the boys (also due to space limitations). We will endeavor to find out why there are many more boys than girls going to the school. We have our suspicions but will confirm before a plan-of-action is put in place, once access to the country is possible.
There has been a severe District-wide shortage of brick to build the sewage pit. It appears the owner of the brick factory has not yet returned to Laos after the lockdown. While a search is on for other local sources, it appears that it will have to be brought in from another District.