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Forum de Marseille - Energy Free Water Supply System in Laos

31st January 2012 by aquassistance      
aquassistance

In 2005, the NGO Action Contre la Faim (ACF), which was present in the locality, asked Aquassistance for advice on the installation of a water supply system for Muang Long, and Aquassistance carried out a preliminary reconnaissance. The objective was to provide a permanent supply of 50 litres per inhabitant per day, requiring a total of 125 m3/d. As there was no power supply available, the system would have to work by gravity. The project finally included:

- The construction of a system with two intakes on the Don Yeng and the Nam Kat, two parallel treatment streams : coagulation/flocculation on closed filters of 8.5 m3/h and disinfection.

- Two reservoirs of 100 m3 each and a 9000 m distribution network with private household connections.

- The setting up of a local water authority and a sustainable management system.

Contributor(s) : 

Aquassistance

All Details

Solution's type

Existing Solutions

Keywords

Gravity, energy free, low-cost, sustainability, water supply system

Main category

technical

Brief description

Muang Long is a village of 2500 inhabitants, in the north-west of Laos, not far from China and Burma. Until recently the population took its water from the Don Yeng and Nam Kat Streams whose water is unsafe for drinking without treatment. Infantile mortality was high (80 deaths/1000 < 1 year) and life expectancy was limited (59 years).

In 2005, the NGO Action Contre la Faim (ACF), which was present in the locality, asked Aquassistance for advice on the installation of a water supply system for Muang Long, and

Aquassistance carried out a preliminary reconnaissance. The objective was to provide a permanent supply of 50 litres per inhabitant per day, requiring a total of 125 m3/d.

As there was no power supply available, the system would have to work by gravity. The project finally included:

- The construction of a system with two intakes on the Don Yeng and the Nam Kat, two parallel treatment streams : coagulation/flocculation on closed filters of 8.5 m3/h and

disinfection.

- Two reservoirs of 100 m3 each and a 9000 m distribution network with private household connections.

- The setting up of a local water authority and a sustainable management system.

Location

Muang Long

Long District

Lao PDR

Actors

The institutional interested parties are as follows:

- The District, in charge of coordination of the project during the construction phase, mobilized the villagers to carry out the earthworks and dig the trenches for the pipes. The national water authority (WASA) which the Ministry has delegated to define the regulations and standards of service for rural and urban zones and to measure the performance of the Nampapa.

- The Nampapa, responsible for managing the water supply service and operation of the installations of the urban zones of the Province including Muang Long. The implication of the institutional partners was complemented by that of the technical and financial ones including:

- The NGO, Action Contre la Faim (ACF, action against hunger) responsible for the logistical support and the main actor for arranging the meetings between the local interested parties and also responsible for paying the local contractors.

- The French NGO, GRET, established inVientiane, which much facilitated the project by providing precious advice on the institutional setup and organizing the meetings with WASA.

- The French consulting engineers Hydro Conseil who represented Aquassistance for the supervision of the works after the departure of ACF from Muang Long in early 2010. The success of the project, whose total cost amounts to 163 000 €, is also due to the implication of various other French funding agencies of the Ile de France region and the Artois Picardy river basin, namely SEDIF, the Syndicat Mixte pour l’Alimentation en Eau de la Région de Dunkerque and the Agence de l’Eau Artois Picardie. Aquassistance also contributed 46.000 € to the funding of the project and the input of its volunteers is evaluated as 54.000 €. The local population paid 5 000 € for the installation of household connections. Its contribution for digging the trenches and other earthworks is evaluated as 5 000 €. The presence of competent local sub-contractaors was also a factor of the success of the project.

State of progress

In operation

Problem to solve

A gravity water supply system “Energy free” to minimize the operating costs and because of the absence of electricity at Muang Long, the system was designed to be entirely powered by gravity. The project comprises two separate production systems to meet the present and future needs of the population and to compensate for a possible breakdown of one of the systems. The treatment process can be adjusted to suit the season, the coagulation/flocculation stage being reserved for the rainy season when the raw water is most turbid.

Added-value and cost effectiveness

Since commissioning of the works in 2010, the 2500 local people have had continuous access to good quality water conforming to the Lao standards. In accordance with national recommendations and in order to guarantee the sustainability of the service, the price of water has been set so that the income from the sale of the water covers both the running costs and provision for renewal of the works and is also socially acceptable. After negotiation with the appropriate authority, the price of water for the population was fixed at 900 kips/m3 (about USD 0.11).

Monitoring

The post-evaluation is done by the Nampapa of Luang Namtha which is itself audited annually with an inspection of the installations and an audit of the accounts. The first two reports from the Nampapa on the quality of the water and the numbers of new connections are very encouraging.

Implementation and replication potential

Reinforcement of the competence of Nampapa

Nampapa was closely associated with all stages of the project from the design of the works to their construction and commissioning. Aquassistance carried out a technical training course for Nampapa during and after construction as well as a specific briefing on the commissioning and maintenance of the installations. Reinforcement of the capacity of the provincial water analysis laboratory Aquassistance reinforced the equipment for microbiological and physico-chemical analysis of the central laboratory of the Nampapa at Luang Namtha to monitor the quality of the water produced at Muang Long and in the other treatment plants of the province. A trainer from the training centre of the National Nampapa of Ventiane carried out a specific course for the staff of the Nampapa of Luang Namtha on this new analysis equipment. Some indicators for monitoring the performance of the project were developed in collaboration with the local Nampapa.

Planned supply of consumables and spare parts Consumables and spare parts were provided for one year of operation and the Nampapa has a list of the suppliers of the Region and documents explaining the procedures to be followed for ordering renewals of the stocks.

Key lessons learnt

The success and the sustainability of the project depend to a large extent on the joint implication of the regional and local institutional partners with the technical and financial partners.

Existing commitments

Number of direct beneficiaries of the activity 2500 inhabitants in the first phase. However the system has been generously sized to allow for a future increase in population of 20%.

Key contact institution

www.aquassistance.org

contact@aquassistance.org