Previous Page Table of Contents

Annex I
Opening addresses

Opening statement by mr. Langsy Sayvisith, Director General of Irrigation Department

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to extend sincere appreciation and warm welcome to foreign guest who have just arrived to Vientiane to participate in this Regional Workshop.

Thanks are being addressed to you all for the devotion of your valuable time to take part in this Meeting. This meeting is being held in order to provide the better understand the dynamic of floods in Lao PDR, especially the central and southern regions, and prepare a plan for the prevention of the effects of future floods, and better management of land resources taking into account cost benefits and hazard risks.

Lao PDR constitutes a major part of the Lower Mekong Basin(LMB), which comprises as well Thailand, Viet Nam and Cambodia. The LMB has always been prone to yearly recurrent flooding in the period from June to October. The flooding pattern is never sudden and mainly characterized by slow but steady rising of the water level and inundation of the alluvial plains.

So far, the floods in the LMB recalled as being the most severe for the entire lower basin are the ones from 1961, 66, 71, 78, 95 and 96. Since 1961, LAO PDR experienced 15 severe flooding, of which the ones of the last two consecutive years were considered the most severe.

For a sustainable agricultural development of the alluvial plains of the Mekong River it is a prerequisite that a national strategy and action plan will be developed for Flood Loss Prevention and Flood Management. In view of the tendency of increasing frequencies of flooding and increasing extent and severity of the single floods the government has decided to request the technical assistance of FAO in preparing a flood loss prevention and management plan for its vulnerable agricultural sector.

This meeting is to present and discuss option for flood management and mitigation prepared by FAO project on Flood Loss Prevention and Management plan for the Agricultural sector; to share the regional and international experiences in flood management and river modeling; to develop appropriate recommendations for a national action plan on flood management and flood mitigation in Laos; and to strengthen regional cooperation in the monitoring and flood management of the Mekong river basin.

At the end, I would like to take this opportunity to officially declare that the Regional Workshop on Flood Management and Mitigation of the Mekong River and its Tributaries be opened from this second on.

Opening remarks by mr Peer Hijmans, FAO Representative

Mr. Langsy Sayvisith, Director-General, Department of Irrigation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR, Distinguished participants. Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of FAO, to this Regional Workshop on Flood Management and Mitigation of the Mekong river, organized in co-operation with the Mekong River Commission Secretariat and the Department of Irrigation.

The purpose of this workshop is among others to share with you the experiences of an FAO assisted project (TCP/LAO/6613) on flood loss prevention and management for the agricultural sector, implemented in the framework of FAO's Technical Co-operation Programme (TCP). I thought it may be useful to give you a short overview on how this project was conceived and what has been done since project activities started in June 1996.

As you may be aware, during 1995, a series of typhoons off the coast of Vietnam brought torrential rains causing landslides in upland areas and widespread flooding in the lowlands of Central and Southern Laos, which are the main rice producing areas. Subsequently Government requested assistance from FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) to assess the crop and food supply situation. The joint FAO/WFP mission estimated that 62 000 hectares of paddy had been totally lost and recommended emergency food aid of 38 000 tons of rice.

Moreover FAO's Service for Special Relief Operations (TCOR) fielded a mission to assess the non-food requirements for the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector. This mission prepared eight project profiles which were presented to the donor community, of which six for immediate assistance and two for medium term disaster preparedness, including the present project on flood management. Upon the request of Government this particular project profile was then fully formulated and funded by the TCP.

The first technical mission was fielded in June 1996, which identified as main follow-up activity a flood extent survey, as the data available were both sketchy and inadequate. Subsequently Vientiane province and municipality were surveyed in the period July-September 1996, and surveys for four southern provinces were conducted in the period January to April 1997. The surveys allowed to delineate the actual areas flooded in 1995 and 1996 on 1:50 000 scale maps. Whilst in the field the survey teams also made an inventory of the losses to agricultural production, including livestock and aquaculture, and damage to rural infrastructure, which were estimated at some US$ 35 million for 1995 and US$ 21 million for 1996.

During 1996, FAO Headquarters also provided a technical support mission in the field of remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for flood evaluation and monitoring.

In 1997 a review was effected of the existing capacity of flood forecasting and recommendations were made on the technical assistance required, including training needs, to upgrade the flood forecasting system. Arrangements were made for the acquisition of satellite images of radar wide beam mode for the beginning and end of September for Bolikhamxay and Champassak provinces. However due to a technical problem with the satellite this exercise “fell into the water”, if I may use this expression.

In the meantime a GIS workstation and Arcview software had been procured and a local contract had been made to digitize the flood survey maps. Project staff also received basic GIS software application training. A detailed topographical survey was conducted for 5 000 hectares of flood prone areas in Bolikhamxay province, which served as the basis for the preparation of a proposal on the feasibility of flood investment works.

The experiences gained from these varied project activities will be presented in detail during this workshop. We will also get reviews of flood management in Viet Nam, Thailand and Cambodia. Moreover further experiences of Bangladesh and the Nile river basin will be presented, as well as tools and techniques available. I trust this will form the sound basis for fruitful discussions which will lead to recommendations and practical results.

To conclude I would like to thank the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Lao National Mekong Committee and the Department of Irrigation, and in particular the National Project Director Mr. Boothian Oondara, for all the assistance in organizing this Workshop.

Last but not least I would like to wish you successful deliberations and a pleasant stay in Vientiane.

Annex II

Thursday 19 March 1998

08:00-08:30Registration- Distribution of Background Materials
08:30-9:00Opening Session
 Mr. Langsy Sayvisith
Director General Department of Irrigation
Mr. P. Hijmans
FAO Representative
- Opening Statement

- Opening Remarks
Technical Session I1. Introduction to Flood Management 
9:00-9:30Mr. Bouriboun Sanasisane
Act. Director Lao National Mekong Committee
- Review of the Laos Mekong River Committee in activities in flood forecasting and flood management
9:30-10:00Mr. Martin Smith
FAO Senior Officer
- Options Flood Management and Mitigation and findings of the FAO TCP project
10:00-10:30Coffee Break-
10:30-10:50Mr. Mao Hak
Dir. Gen. Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Phnom Penh
- Review of Flooding and flood management in Cambodia
10:50- 11 :10Mrs Varunee Chareonsamran
DEDP, Bangkok
- Review Flooding and flood management in Thailand
11:10-11:30Mrs Le Thi Tam Thien
Center of Hydro- Meteorological Forecasting
- Review Flooding and flood management in Vietnam
Technical Session IIFlood Surveys, GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques
11:30-12:00Mr. Boonthian Oondara
Chief Flood Management Unit DOI, Vientiane
- Flood surveys and mapping of Flood Prone areas in Laos
12:00-12:30Mr. Victor Gillespie
GIS Services MicroTec
- Processing GIS Flood Mapping
12:40-14:00LUNCH provided in Lane Xang Hotel for all participants
14:00-14:30Mr. John Latham
FAO Remote Sensing Specialist
- Remote Sensing Techniques in Flood Assessment
14:30-15:00Mr. Nokeo Ratanavong
MRCS, Bangkok
- Remote Sensing application of Inundation Monitoring in cooperation Japanese Institute of Irrigation and Drainage
15:00-15:30Mr.Jeffrey Himmel
Aruna Technology Cambodia
- Radar Satellite Interpretation, case study from Cambodia
15:30-16:00TEA BREAK 
16:00-17:00DiscussionsRecommendations on:
- GIS Applications in flood assessment and management
- Flood monitoring by Remote Sensing techniques

Friday 20 March 1998

Technical Session IIIFlood Forecasting and River Modelling
08:30-09:00Mr. Sok Saing Im
MRC, Chief Hydrology Unit, Bangkok
- Hydrology Programme of the Mekong River Commission
09:00-9:30Mr. Hideaki Tanaka
MRC, Senior Project Officer, Bangkok
- Flood Forecasting for the Mekong River Commission in 1997
9:30-10:00Boonthian Oondara
Irrigation Department, Vientiane
- Flood forecasting on the Mekong River in Lao PDR,
10:00-10:30Coffee Break 
10:30-11:00Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hien
Sub-Institute Water Resources Planning, Ho Chi Minh City
- Hydraulic Modelling and Flood Control Planning in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam case study
11:00-11:30Mr. Adri Verwey
Delft Hydraulics, Netherlands
- Options in the enhancement of Flood forecasting and river modeling on the Mekong river and its tributaries
11:30-12:00Messrs. Engelbert Oud/ Terence Muir
Lahmeyer Consultant Intl, Vientiane
Reservoir Management and Options for flood control
12:00-12:30Mr. M.M. Andjelic
CTA FAO Lake Victoria Water Resources Project, Kampala
- Water Resources and Flood monitoring of the Nile Basin
 Lunch provided in Lane Xang Hotel for all participants
14:00-14:30Mr. Adri Verwey
Delft Hydraulics, Netherlands
- Flood Action Plan in Bangladesh, Flood models and experiences in Bangladesh
14:30-15:00Discussions- Recommendations on Flood forecasting and river modeling
15:00-15:30Tea Break 
Technical Session IVFlood Control Works
15:30-16:00Mr. Timothy Stephens
FAO Consultant, UK
- Pilot Study on Flood Investment Works Bolikhamxai Province
16:00-16:30Mr. R.L. Brown,
Engineering Consult, Vientiane
- Vientiane Plain Flood Protection
16:30-17:00Discussions- Options for flood protection works
19.30Dinner hosted by FAO Representative to all participants

Saturday 21 March 1998

 Conclusions and Recommendations
8:30-9:00Drafting Committee- Presentation Main Findings and Proposed Actions
9:00-10:30Discussions- Formulation of recommendations for National Action Plan and Regional Cooperation
 Closing Session 
10:30-11:00Mr. Langsy Sayvisith
DG. Irrigation Department
Mr. Boliboun
Act.Director LAO MRC
- Framework for National actions in Flood Management

- Options for Regional Cooperation on Flood monitoring and flood forecasting
11:00Departure to AirportFlight to Bangkok TG691 at 12:40

Annex III
List of participants


Norng Piseth
Staff, Dept. of Hydrology,
General Directorate of Irrigation, Meteorology &
Hydrology (GDIMH), Phnom Penh

Mao Hak
Staff, Dept. of Hydrology,
General Directorate of Irrigation, Meteorology &
Hydrology (GDIMH), Phnom Penh

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Bouriboun Sanasisane
Act. Director
Lao National Mekong Committee Laos

Linseng Douangsavanh
Deputy Director
Lao National Mekong Committee, Vientiane

Lorina Mc Adam
Support Staff
Lao National Mekong Committee, Vientiane

Phokhin Muanghanh
Support Staff
Lao National Mekong Committee, Vientiane

Thanouxai Ounthuang
Deputy Director General
Department of Irrigation

Boonthian Oondara
Head. Flood Management Unit,
Department of Irrigation, Vientiane

Boua Ngeun Oudomchit
Department of Meteorology & Hydrology, Vientiane

Vandy Duang Mala
Department of Meteorology & Hydrology, Vientiane

Bounthong Saphakdy
National Project Director
Dept., of Fisheries, Vientiane

Bounheuang Phanthasith
National Project Coordinator, MRC/GTZ
Dept. of Forestry, Vientiane

Khonepheth Samounty
Hydro Power Office
Ministry of Industry & Handcraft, Vientiane

Bouaphanh Theddavanh
Deputy Director,
Inland Water Division, Ministry of Comm.
Transport, Post and Construction, Vientiane

Phetsavang Sounnalath
Nat. Project Director LAO/97/013- National
Disaster Management
Ministry of Labour & Social Welfare, Vientiane

Phouvong Sayalath
Director General, Dept. of Data & Information Science, Technology and Environment
Organization (STENO), Vientiane


Varunee Chareonsamran
Senior Hydrologist, Hydrology Division
Dept. Energy Development and Promotion,

Somsak Lertwongtrakul
Irrigation Engineer 6, Office of Topographical &
Geotechnical Survey,
Royal Irrigation Department, BKK

Tosapol Wongwan
Irrigation Engineer 6, Office of Topographical &
Geotechnical Survey,
Royal Irrigation Department, BKK

Viet Nam

Le Thi Tam Thien
Deputy Chief
Hydro-Met Forecasting & Services Division,

Nguyen Ngoc Anh
Deputy Chief, General Technical Division
Sub-Institute of Water Resources Planning,

Nguyen Xuan Hien
Deputy Head
Sub-Institute Water Resources Planning, Ho Chi
Minh City


Sok Saing Im
Chief, Hydrology Unit
Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Bangkok

Hideaki Tanaka
Senior Hydrologist
Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Bangkok

Nokeo Ratanavong
Officer in Charge, Technical Support Unit,
Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Bangkok

International Resource Persons

Jeffrey Himel
ARUNA Technology Ltd., Phnom Penh

Adri Verwey
River Modeling Specialist
Delft Hydraulics, Netherlands

Timothy Stephens
Irrigation Engineer
FAO Consultant, U.K.

R.L. Brown
Engineering Consultant
formerly Mott MacDonald Group, Vientiane

Engelbert Oud
Project Manager
Lahmeyer International, Vientiane

Terence Muir
Senior Hydrologist
Lahmeyer International, Vientiane

Victor Gillespie
GIS Specialist, GPS/GIS Training and Service
MICROTEC, Vientiane

International Agencies

Ki Hee Ryu
Forestry and Natural Resources Division
Asian Development Bank, Bangkok

Patricia Pennetier
ECHO Coordinator
ECHO, European Union

Mr. Heyraud
Counsellor for Disaster Preparedness
ECHO, European Union

Stephen Keller
Emergency Coordinator
World Food Programme

Virachi Vongsak
Programme Officer
United Nations Development Programme

Terri Irvine
Programme Officer

Akira Hashimoto
JIICA Expert

Ole Pederson
Programme Coordinator (Nat Resources & Environment)
Danish International Development Agency

Tome Wolters
Chief Technical Officer
LAO/97/013 Capacity Building for National Disaster Management

Colin Haskins
Programme Dev. Coordinator
Concern World Wide

Atsushi Rikimaru
Associate Professor
Hosei University, Japan

Mr. Hirodo
JICA Expert

Martha Teas
VAM Officer, Cambodia
World Food Programme

Mr. Sengkham
GIS Specialist
MICROTECH, Vientiane

Mr. Boivin
President Director

Mr. Bruce
Vice President


P. Hijmans
FAO Representative
Food and Agriculture Organization, Vientiane

Martin Smith
Senior Officer Irrigation Management
Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome HQ

John Latham
Remote Sensing Specialist
Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome HQ

M.M. Andjelic
Chief Technical Adviser
FAO Lake Victoria Water Resources Project,

Dirk Paulus
Land & Water Programme Off. (APO)
FAO Representation, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Kaeo Oudorn
Programme Clerk
FAO Representation, Phnom Penh, Vientiane


Previous Page Top of Page