Khounkham District, June 1, 2016
The people of Phoumakneng village enthusiastically marked National Tree Planting Day on June 1, adding 6,800 saplings to their gardens and public spaces with the assistance of the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC).
District and provincial officials joined THPC staff in planting the trees alongside the villagers, using the occasion to also celebrate World Environment Day.
Soulideth Baomanikhoth, Deputy General Manager of THPC, said that as it does each year, the company provided a variety of trees for the villagers to plant including fruit trees, decorative species and shade providers. This year THPC gave five saplings to every household in the village, with more emphasis put on fruit trees.
Following instruction on how to properly transplant the saplings, villagers planted the trees at their houses and gardens as well as around Phoumakneng's school, meeting hall, health centre and temple. Mrs Noi, a 25-year-old housewife said she was proud and delighted that THPC had organised plantation day at Phoumakneng this year.
“It’s hot work planting the trees”, she said, “but it’s a great idea. This helps us compensate for forest that has been lost over the years. I will come every day to check on my saplings. If there’s a lot of rain, I will add more soil so the plant doesn’t drown. If it’s too dry, I will water it”.
Before the planting got underway, Keolandon Chantaphany, the Governor of Khounkham District read the villagers a speech from Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, urging them to protect forests and maintain biodiversity.
Phoumakneng village was founded in 2010 when five villages living along the Hinboun River moved to a new flood-safe location with houses, farm land and public facilities provided by THPC. The relocation of the villages formed part of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project, inaugurated in early 2013. THPC now has a generating capacity of 510 megawatts and has contributed over US$460 million to the Lao state since beginning operations in 1998.