The Lao New Year – Pi Mai – is almost upon us and the Civitas team are working hard to complete our work before the office closes for a week of what is going to be yet another very quiet and very dry Pi Mai. Whilst Covid-19 again is affecting play, we are in good spirits non the less.
The month of March is always a busy time in the run up to the New Year holidays and this year was no exception. Part of the Team was “thrown out in the trash”- interviewing waste collection workers at landfill sites, and the waste pickers at recycling plants and on the streets. This was part of a first-time gender assessment in the solid waste industry. Not only is it interesting to identify the roles of men and women as producers and managers of household waste and the opportunities both have/don’t have within the industry, but as we continuously assess the city’s waste production it gave us insight into what really happens to our own rubbish.
As we continue our path of sustainability, Khouan and Phat have been hard at work clearing up part of the garden to grow vegetables. We are looking forward to having fresh, organic produce for our lunches. Su Su Khouan and Phat!
World Water Day was on the 22nd March and as our most recent blog post stated, 48% of primary schools in Lao PDR do not have access to water. You have probably heard it by now, but the HappyTap saves water amongst other great benefits and we are hard at work, trying to get them into Lao schools.
After a great weekend at the Crowne Plaza “Handmade in Laos Market” the Happy Hands team secured sponsorship for 2 kindergartens and 5 classrooms in one primary school in SOS children’s Villages. We hope to gain more sponsorship over the next couple of weeks before we start implementation in those schools at the beginning of May. We are very excited to start rolling out this initiative and seeing those bright green handwashing stations all over the country.
Meanwhile, another part of our Team travelled to 3 provinces, to carry out consultations with indigenous people on forest protection and land management supporting the social and environmental safeguarding of the GIZ “Scaling up Implementation of the Lao PDR Emission Reductions Program through Improved Governance and Sustainable Forest Landscape Management“ a large scale project funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
We are indeed fortunate to be working on so many interesting projects that will lead the Lao PDR towards a sustainable and inclusive future and could go on at length about every single one of them but there is the hiss of a certain beverage being opened.
From all the Civitas team- Sokdee Pi Mai!
(Pictures from last years celebrations)