Khamkeuth District, June 1, 2015IMG 5950

The villagers of Ban Phonthong in Khamkeuth District, Bolikhamxay Province, marked National Tree Planting Day by planting over 6,000 saplings around their community. District and provincial officials joined the tree-planting effort along with staff from the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC), which organised the event.

Phonthong is one four villages developed by THPC to resettle people who moved as part of the expansion project which raised the company’s generating capacity to 500 megawatts. Over 1,800 people took ownership of their new houses at Phonthong in 2010-11. The village features a clinic, school, new roads and other public facilities, as well as improved water supply and electricity. The company runs livelihood programs to help villagers increase their incomes and supports any vulnerable families who struggle to grow food or earn money.

Soulideth Baomanikhoth, Deputy General Manager of THPC, said the annual tree-planting event was both symbolic and practical. “THPC is happy to contribute to National Tree Planting Day every year. The occasion provides us with an opportunity not only to raise awareness about environmental issues but also to help villagers improve their surroundings”.

IMG 5978THPC provided a variety of trees for the villagers to plant including fruit trees, decorative species, industrial trees and shade providers. The residents of Phonthong planted the saplings around the village school, meeting hall and temple plus around their houses and home gardens. Village authorities, including the school teachers, have taken on responsibility for watering and protecting the young trees over the first few years.

As they mature the trees will help the new part of the village, which was built on cleared land, to greatly improve in appearance. The tree-planting exercise also helps remind local people and authorities of the importance of forests and biodiversity conservation, issues which THPC is keen to promote around the rivers and reservoirs in the Theun-Hinboun area.


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