On Monday 13 July 2020, Dr. Kongkeo Xaysongkham, Provincial Governor of Bolikhamxay Province, Mr. Bounkhouang Khambounheuang, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Bounseng Pathammavong, Vice-Governor of Bolikhamxay Province, Dr. Souvanny Xaysana, President of Bolikhamxay Provincial People’s Assembly, Ms. Khamlar Phonsavat, Deputy Managing Director of Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company (NNP1PC), Governor of Bolikhan District, Phouhomxay Village Chiefs together with villagers, Government and NNP1PC staff participated in the National Fish Release Day at Houay Soup Noi Reservoir’s Fish Conservation Area located in Phouhomxay Village, Bolikhan District, Bolikhamxay Province.
A total of 20,000 indigenous fish fingerlings (Barbonymus gonionotus or Pa Park) were released in order to increase the abundance and productivity of the aquatic habitat that can be conserved for the present and future generation. Half of the fish fingerlings were provided by the Living Aquatic Resource Research Centre (LARReC), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the remaining half were taken from the Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower Project’s Resource Centre.
The Provincial Governor, Vice-Minister and the delegation also visited a kindergarten in Phouhomxay Village (Nam Ngiep 1 Project’s Resettlement Area) which was built by NNP1PC as an education service under its Social Development Program. At this kindergarten, the delegation observed the implementation of a School Lunch Program for pre-school children sponsored by EGAT International Company Limited, Thailand (EGATi), one of the three shareholders of NNP1PC. This School Lunch Program has been operating since 2019 education year by serving standard nutritious lunch for all 72 children in every school day. It aims to enhance the nutritional condition of the children in the early age of growth because it is the most important period for their learning development. EGATi received a permission from the Provincial Governor to support this activity as a volunteer.
This Program was managed by the Phouhomxay village authority, teachers and the parents of kindergarteners whereas the support from EGATi is in the form of cash for a total of LAK 96.5 million in the first school year to purchase materials for cooking lunch including vegetables, eggs, meat, utensils, a fridge, milk etc. All children’s parents voluntarily take turn in preparing lunch for their children every school day as well as contributing one kilogram of rice per child per week to this Program. Most of the food materials used for cooking are the products purchased from the Project Impacted People in Phouhomxay village who receive the livelihood development support from the NNP1 Project to stimulate the economic growth in their community.
The School Lunch Program has been fully supported by the local people in Phouhomxay Village under the leadership of Mr. Phone Xi Xong, Village Head. The villagers donated construction materials and labor to build a canteen for their children. So instead of sitting and eating in front of the classroom at the first few weeks of this Program implementation, they moved to sit and have lunch properly in the canteen which is cleaner and more comfortable. “I’d like to thank Mr. Prapard Pan Aram, Vice-President of EGATi who introduced this Program to our children. This Program not only provides the nutritious lunch for our children, it also offers our community the opportunity to learn a better way of eating,” said the Village Head.
After visiting and interacting with teachers, parents of the school children and the kindergarteners, the Provincial Governor expressed his appreciation to all relevant parties who support this Program and request EGATi and NNP1PC to continue their support to this useful Program as well as allow other schools to do a study tour and learn about its model after it is well established.
NNP1PC has been supporting this Program by assigning the social development team to monitor and record the health condition of children over time as well as coordinating with the village authorities, local villagers and teachers to support the Program. “After months of activity operation, these children have clearly shown better health condition,” said Mr. Aeoudom Silavong, NNP1PC Social Development Team Leader.
“This Program not only benefit the children but also the Project Impacted People who are their parents. The parents who come to cook for their children could learn how to prepare nutritious meal for their families. The longer this Program operates, the better health of the children in the resettlement village area and the more money they can earn from selling their produce to the kindergarten which will ultimately improve their livelihood,” said Ms. Khamlar, Deputy Managing Director of NNP1PC.
National Fish Release Day held at Houay Soup Noi Reservoir’s Fish Conservation Area located in Phouhomxay Village, Bolikhan District, Bolikhamxay Province.
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