FAO in Lao People's Democratic Republic

Simulation exercise helps build local government’s capacity to better cope with anticipated flood event


Vientiane Capital, Lao People's Democratic Republic – Over four days from 26th to 29th March 2024 the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) conducted a flood AA simulation exercise in Thakhamleuam village, Xonnabouly district, Savannakhet province. The event was participated in by concerned Government counterparts at national, provincial, and district levels, village heads and farmers, and members of the Anticipatory Action Technical Working Group including World Food Programme and World Vision. 

The main objectives of this simulation exercise were to prepare the village and all the actors for future flooding. As part of the anticipatory action approach there was a testing of the methodology for accurately forecasting flooding, and a practice of the flood early warning dissemination from central level to at-risk farmers in the event flooding is forecast. All actors participated in the delivery of three Anticipatory Actions (AAs) as part of the simulation: early warning message dissemination, livestock evacuation and waterproof drum distribution. 

During the simulation exercise meeting, the Vice Governor of Xonnnabouly District stated that “this simulation exercise does not only help prepare at risk community and build their capacity to act early to prevent loss of lives and assets, but it also enhances coordination and preparedness of disaster risk management committees at the district in managing a disaster in the future”.

Learning from the flood simulation will be used to improve preparedness plans in the event of flooding being forecast. The anticipatory action protocol of FAO and MoLSW covers round 4,000 households in fifteen flood-prone villages within the three districts Champhone, Songkhone, Xonnabouly. If a flood is forecast, then early warning and anticipatory actions will be taken to protect at-risk communities from the impacts. 

This initiative is facilitated as part of the Pilot Programmatic Partnership between the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) and FAO on increasing capacities and scale for Anticipatory Action including through social protection systems. The programmatic partnership has been ongoing in Lao PDR since 2021. The project has already yielded several achievements including raising awareness of the Anticipatory Action approach, developing a drought Anticipatory Action trigger methodology, and drafting a drought Anticipatory Action Protocol.