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Khamkeuth, June 20 2019FireHouseHandover

A family at Keosenkham village, in Bolikhamxay’s Khamkeuth District, is able to start rebuilding its house following a fire that took their home away in May. On June 20 the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) handed over construction materials worth 24 million kip (US$2,800) to the family of Mr Somsack, a farmer in the village.

Mr Somsack’s family moved to Keosenkham in 2011 as part of the resettlement programme for the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project. Each family moving to the new village received cash compensation, a good quality new house with garden and land title, plus agricultural land and access to improved utilities and public services including a school and health centre.

The family was benefitting from expanding market links in the area until the fire struck and left them homeless. “Suddenly life became very difficult for us”, said Mr Somsack. “We had ten people living in the house. Things looked hopeless and we had no idea what to do”.

Keosenkham village authority contacted THPC and asked if assistance could be provided to the family. “Officially we have no obligation in such cases,” said Mr Soulideth Baomanikhoth, Deputy General Manager of THPC. “Each family owns its own house and land, and THPC has already met its responsibilities in terms of providing infrastructure and livelihoods opportunities”.

“However”, said Mr Soulideth, “Mr Somsack is well known as an active community member who helped villagers during the move to the new village at Keosenkham. Given his contribution to the community, and the fact that his family would struggle to get back what fate had taken away from them, THPC was able to find the money to assist”.

“My family will always be grateful to our relatives in the village who have put us up in this difficult time” said Mr Somsack, “and to the management of THPC, who have rescued us from misery”.

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Thakhek, 29 May 2019

The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) has donated 50 tonnes of rice seed to help people in Hinboun and Khounkham districts who lost crops to flooding during the 2018 wet season.HandOverW

Six districts of Khammouane province, including Khounkham and Hinboun, were particularly badly hit by flooding last year, with heavy seasonal rain exacerbated by tropical storms Son-Tinh and Bebinca. Over 1,150 households in Hinboun and 3,400 families in Khounkham suffered damaged rice fields and lost much of their staple crop.

Emergency aid from the government and international partners helped alleviate immediate problems caused by the floods, but farmers were concerned that with rice seed stocks depleted, they would not be able to plant crops for the 2019 season. THPC therefore responded to a request from Khammouane Province, donating 260 million kip to purchase rice seed for the two districts in its project area.

The Deputy General Manager of THPC, Mr Soulideth Baomanikhoth, officially handed over the donation to Mr Detsackda Manykham, Deputy Director of Khammouane Agriculture and Forestry Department. “THPC has a long-standing partnership with the people of Hinboun and Khounkham, and tries to provide help when needed,” said Mr Soulideth. “Such events affect people’s morale as well as their finances, and if we can share some of their burden then they can more quickly gain the strength to work through natural disasters”.

Mr Somchay Phetsynouan, Deputy Governor of Khammouane Province, described THPC as “a strong development partner in all aspects, which provides assistance whenever we have difficulties. After previous natural flooding disasters, they have given generous support through materials, food and transport for villagers and their belongings".

The floods were a nationwide problem in 2018 noted Mr Soulideth, and THPC has previously contributed 300 million kip to disaster relief efforts in Attapeu. “The people of Hinboun and Khounkham are our family”, he added, “so we are bound together in good times and in times of need”.

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Tree19KhounphetWOn 31 May, villagers at Ban Khounphet in Khammouane province, together with staff from the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) and Khounkham district authority, planted 2,000 trees to mark National Plantation Day and World Environment Day.

THPC provided the saplings, which included fruit, ornamental and industrial species. Each family received saplings to plant in around house plots while volunteers planted trees in public areas such as the village school, temple, office and health centre. THPC staff also provided advice on how to correctly plant and care for the young trees.

Ahead of the activity Mr Soulideth Baomanikhoth, Deputy General Manager of THPC, said that “planting trees today will increase abundance for the community in the future, providing shade, fruit, and other resources while helping to keep the green character of the natural environment around the village”.

Khounphet is one of nine relocation villages built by THPC as compensation for longer annual flood periods following construction of the Theun-Hinboun hydropower expansion project, inaugurated in 2013. The project increase the amount of water in the Hai and Hinboun rivers, which can intensify natural flood cycles. Khounphet was the last relocation village built, providing new houses, public facilities and agricultural land on flood-safe ground. People from Thonglom, Nakhok and Fangdeng villages moved to the new site in 2016-17.

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Khounkham, May 24, 2019OldNamHaiBridgeW

Work has begun on a new bridge across the Hai River in Khounkham district, Khammouane, with the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) responding to local requests for better infrastructure. The new 50-metre long bridge, located near Nakham village on the road to Konglor Cave, will cost over US$800,000 and is expected to be ready for use in June 2020.

The bridge will replace an existing structure installed by THPC in 1996 to aid construction of the first Theun-Hinboun hydropower project. Following completion of that project, the district and provincial governments asked the company to leave the bridge in place as it made crossing the Nam Hai much easier for local people.

Over the last 20 years THPC has funded repairs to the bridge on several occasions as a contribution to the community. However, traffic along the road has increased dramatically in recent years, particularly with the growth of Konglor Cave as a tourist attraction and major contributor to the local economy. The old Bailey-style bridge is no longer fit for purpose and local authorities once more asked THPC for assistance.

THPC’s minority shareholders, GMS Power International and SN Power of Norway, agreed to support the district and local villages by funding the design and construction of a new bridge. THPC is administering their donation while supplying supervision services in partnership with Khammouane Province. The new design will support a double-lane road and pedestrian walkway and will be built just upstream of the existing bridge, requiring construction of over 300 metres of additional road to connect with the existing highway.

Following a tendering process the bridge contract was awarded to a partnership between Road No.8 Construction Enterprise and Tay Truong Son Construction.

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