ATTAPEU, 28 July 2018 – On his second day in Lao PDR, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator Dato Lim Jock Hoi, accompanied by Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee and Executive Director of AHA Centre Adelina Kamal, visited Sanamsay District, Attapeu Province to learn first-hand the needs of the affected communities following the flash floods triggered by the saddle dam collapse earlier this week.

Secretary-General Dato Lim conveyed ASEAN’s solidarity with the government and the population affected by this disaster. “Being forced from our homes is not a choice anyone desires for oneself, nor impose on others. The storm may have rendered our lives tragic and difficult, but we shall weather it through the triumph of our spirit,” Dato Lim said as he symbolically delivered relief items to Mr. Woohome, Governor of Sanamsay District.

During the visit to Sanamsay, it was apparent that food, water, shelter, and personal hygiene kits as well as the re-establishment of primary health care are the most pressing needs. Access to the affected population is also a big challenge.

Dato Lim expressed his appreciation for the outpouring of assistance from ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners to Lao PDR. He, however, stressed that more relief efforts are needed from all stakeholders, particularly the private sector, to address the pressing needs.

On his part, Deputy Secretary-General Vongthep said, “The collapse of the saddle dam is a reminder of how our development remains susceptible to natural disasters. Let this memory be the driving force of our mission to integrate disaster risk reduction strategies in all aspects of our lives and governance. Let the suffering of the peoples in Attapeu Province be the inspiration that enlightens our approach in promoting a culture of prevention, a culture of resilience and care for the environment.”

More photos and footage of the visit here.

For more updates on the flooding situation, please visit: https://ahacentre.org/